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lion

[lahy-uh n] /ˈlaɪ ən/
noun
1.
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.
2.
any of various related large wildcats, as the cougar.
3.
a man of great strength, courage, etc.
4.
a person of great importance, influence, charm, etc., who is much admired as a celebrity:
a literary lion.
5.
the lion as the national emblem of Great Britain.
6.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy, Astrology. the constellation or sign of Leo.
7.
(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.
8.
Numismatics.
  1. a silver, Anglo-Gallic denier, issued during the reign of Henry III, bearing the figure of a lion.
  2. a gold coin of Scotland, issued c1400–1589, bearing the figure of a lion.
  3. any of various other coins bearing the figure of a lion.
  4. hardhead2 .
9.
British. an object of interest or note.
Idioms
10.
beard the lion in its den, to confront or attack someone, especially a powerful or feared person, in that person's own familiar surroundings.
11.
twist the lion's tail, to tax the patience of or provoke a person, group, nation, or government, especially that of Great Britain.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English < Old French, variant of leon < Latin leōn- (stem of leō) < Greek léōn; replacing Middle English, Old English lēo < Latin, as above
Related forms
lionesque, adjective
lionlike, lionly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for lion
  • Others believe full-time faculty members deserve the lion's share of money for student instruction.
  • But the heel pad is too big for a mountain lion, the toes too close to the back pad.
  • Lifeguards attribute the stinging streak in part to an unusually robust population of lion's mane jellies.
  • Captives, which insure the parent companies' risk, still take the lion's share of the alternative-risk market.
  • The privileges of reserve-currency status were not confined to the dollar, though it enjoyed the lion's share.
  • The traditional lion dance proved so popular that several venues struggled to find troupes to perform as advertised.
  • The government has unveiled plans to give the state the lion's share of the money from vast new oil discoveries.
  • The rationale was that, since everyone now knows where the oil is, the lion's share of the profits should go to the nation.
  • The lion should chase the gazelle for as long as possible to maximize the chance of catching it.
  • Imagine getting cuffed by a sea lion then pulled in by a rope.
British Dictionary definitions for lion

lion

/ˈlaɪən/
noun
1.
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 mane related adjective leonine
2.
a conventionalized lion, the principal beast used as an emblem in heraldry. It has become the national emblem of Great Britain
3.
a courageous, strong, or bellicose person
4.
a celebrity or idol who attracts much publicity and a large following
5.
beard the lion in his den, to approach a feared or influential person, esp in order to ask a favour
6.
the lion's share, the largest portion
Word Origin
Old English līo, lēo (Middle English lioun, from Anglo-French liun), both from Latin leo, Greek leōn

Lion

/ˈlaɪən/
noun
1.
the Lion, the constellation Leo, the fifth sign of the zodiac
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
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Word Origin and History for lion
n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for lion

LION

low energy ion and electron instrument
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with lion

lion

In addition to the idiom beginning with
lion
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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