[ lee-uh-nahyn ]
/ ˈli əˌnaɪn /
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of or relating to the lion: We breathlessly watched the pride, in its leonine majesty, as it moved across the veldt.
resembling or suggestive of a lion: the conductor's wild, leonine hair.
(usually initial capital letter) of or relating to Leo, especially Leo IV or Leo XIII.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of leonine

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English leonyn, from Latin leōnīnus “lionlike,” equivalent to leōn- (stem of leō) + -īnus; see origin at lion,-ine1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for leonine

British Dictionary definitions for leonine (1 of 2)

/ (ˈliːəˌnaɪn) /


of, characteristic of, or resembling a lion

Word Origin for leonine

C14: from Latin leōnīnus, from leō lion

British Dictionary definitions for leonine (2 of 2)

/ (ˈliːəˌnaɪn) /


connected with one of the popes called Leo
Leonine City a district of Rome on the right bank of the Tiber fortified by Pope Leo IV
of or relating to certain prayers in the Mass prescribed by Pope Leo XIII


Also called: Leonine verse
  1. a type of medieval hexameter or elegiac verse having internal rhyme
  2. a type of English verse with internal rhyme
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for leonine

[ lēə-nīn ]


Of, relating to, or characteristic of a lion.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.