- a large, usually tawny-yellow cat, Panthera leo, native to Africa and southern Asia, having a tufted tail and, in the male, a large mane.
- any of various related large wildcats, as the cougar.
- a man of great strength, courage, etc.
- a person of great importance, influence, charm, etc., who is much admired as a celebrity: a literary lion.
- the lion as the national emblem of Great Britain.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy, Astrology. the constellation or sign of Leo.
- (initial capital letter) a member of any one of the internationally affiliated service clubs (International Association of Lions Clubs) founded in 1917 and dedicated to promoting responsible citizenship, sound government, and community, national, and international welfare.
- a silver, Anglo-Gallic denier, issued during the reign of Henry III, bearing the figure of a lion.
- a gold coin of Scotland, issued c1400–1589, bearing the figure of a lion.
- any of various other coins bearing the figure of a lion.
- British. an object of interest or note.
- beard the lion in its den, to confront or attack someone, especially a powerful or feared person, in that person's own familiar surroundings.
- twist the lion's tail, to tax the patience of or provoke a person, group, nation, or government, especially that of Great Britain.
Origin of lion
Examples from the Web for lion
Indeed, Lion Air, with 45 percent of the domestic Indonesian airline market, has swallowed the Fernandes formula whole.
There is a larger reason, beyond the airlines themselves, why Lion Air and 61 other Indonesian airlines are on this black list.
Two Indonesian airlines, Garuda and Lion Air, have seen Fernandes eat their lunch and are only now responding.
The Lion Air captain had left his rookie copilot to make the landing until he realized he was in trouble.
The airplane was owned by an Indonesian budget carrier, Lion Air.Who Will Get AsiaAir 8501’s Black Boxes?
December 30, 2014
Well, boy, I'd say that the lion had been chawed up considerable—by dogs.Way of the Lawless
It is a fool's plan to teach a man to be a cur in peace, and think that he will be a lion in war.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
I want to make a cushion of my lion's skin, for the weight to rest upon.The Three Golden Apples
But pretty soon there was plenty of sound, for the lion was catching up.Tom Sawyer Abroad
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
That one is the lion; and they hunt him with spears in the long grass.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
- a large gregarious predatory feline mammal, Panthera leo, of open country in parts of Africa and India, having a tawny yellow coat and, in the male, a shaggy maneRelated adjective: leonine
- a conventionalized lion, the principal beast used as an emblem in heraldry. It has become the national emblem of Great Britain
- a courageous, strong, or bellicose person
- a celebrity or idol who attracts much publicity and a large following
- beard the lion in his den to approach a feared or influential person, esp in order to ask a favour
- the lion's share the largest portion
- the Lion the constellation Leo, the fifth sign of the zodiac
Word Origin and History for lion
late 12c., from Old French lion "lion," figuratively "hero," from Latin leonem (nominative leo) "lion; the constellation leo," from Greek leon (genitive leontos), from a non-Indo-European language, perhaps Semitic (cf. Hebrew labhi "lion," plural lebaim; Egyptian labai, lawai "lioness").
A general Germanic borrowing from Latin (cf. Old English leo, Anglian lea; Old Frisian lawa; Middle Dutch leuwe, Dutch leeuw; Old High German lewo, German Löwe); it is found in most European languages, often via Germanic (cf. Old Church Slavonic livu, Polish lew, Czech lev, Old Irish leon, Welsh llew). Used figuratively from c.1200 in an approving sense, "one who is fiercely brave," and a disapproving one, "tyrannical leader, greedy devourer." Lion's share "the greatest portion" is attested from 1701.
Idioms and Phrases with lion
In addition to the idiom beginning with lion
, also see
- beard the lion
- throw to the wolves (lions)