verb (used with object), li·on·ized, li·on·iz·ing.

to treat (a person) as a celebrity: to lionize the visiting poet.
British. to visit or exhibit the objects of interest of (a place).

verb (used without object), li·on·ized, li·on·iz·ing.

to pursue celebrities or seek their company.
British. to visit the objects of interest of a place.

Also especially British, li·on·ise.

Origin of lionize

First recorded in 1800–10; lion + -ize
Related formsli·on·i·za·tion, nounli·on·iz·er, nounun·li·on·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lionise

Historical Examples of lionise

  • They tried to lionise me in drawing rooms and make me talk for their entertainment.

    The Shrieking Pit

    Arthur J. Rees

  • I had only met her once before, but she took it into her head to lionise me.

  • He goes very little into society and no one possibly could lionise him.

    Mrs. Balfame

    Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

  • Fashionable London was never able to 'lionise' Bohemian Borrow.

    The Story of Seville

    Walter M. Gallichan

  • She was in London again in 1851, and was dismayed by the attempts to lionise her.

    The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX.

    Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

British Dictionary definitions for lionise




(tr) to treat as or make into a celebrity
Derived Formslionization or lionisation, nounlionizer or lioniser, noun
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 lionise



"to treat (someone) as a celebrity," a hybrid from lion + -ize. Used by Scott, 1809, and preserving lion in the sense of "person of note who is much sought-after" (1715), originally in reference to the lions formerly kept in the Tower of London (referred to from late 16c.), objects of general curiosity that every visitor in town was taken to see. Related: Lionized; lionizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper