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See more synonyms for leonine on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to the lion.
  2. resembling or suggestive of a lion.
  3. (usually initial capital letter) of or relating to Leo, especially Leo IV or Leo XIII.
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Origin of leonine

1350–1400; Middle English leonyn < Latin leōnīnus lionlike, equivalent to leōn- (stem of leō lion) + -īnus -ine1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for leonine

Historical Examples

  • The Frenchman's leonine countenance took on a hostile expression.


    Stephen French Whitman

  • But with beer to be gained by boldness, Ichabod was leonine in courage.

  • In the leonine eyes looking into hers gleamed the light of admiration and approval.

    The Yellow Claw

    Sax Rohmer

  • But here Leonine interrupted her with desiring her to say her prayers.

    Tales from Shakespeare

    Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

  • You agree with me, I suspect, that she is—or was—leonine, terrific.

British Dictionary definitions for leonine


  1. of, characteristic of, or resembling a lion
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Word Origin

C14: from Latin leōnīnus, from leō lion


  1. connected with one of the popes called Leo
  2. Leonine City a district of Rome on the right bank of the Tiber fortified by Pope Leo IV
  3. of or relating to certain prayers in the Mass prescribed by Pope Leo XIII
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  1. 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
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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

Word Origin and History for leonine


"lion-like," late 14c., from Old French leonin or directly from Latin leoninus "belonging to or resembling a lion," from leo (genitive leonis) "lion." Weekley thinks that Leonine verse (1650s), rhymed in the middle as well as the end of the line, probably is from the name of some medieval poet, perhaps Leo, Canon of St. Victor, Paris, 12c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

leonine in Medicine


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