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.
Word Origin and History for beard the lion its den
late 12c., from O.Fr. lion, from L. leonem (nom. leo), from Gk. leon (gen. leontos), from a non-I.E. language, perhaps Semitic (cf. Heb. labi "lion," pl. lebaim; Egyptian labai, lawai "lioness"). A general Germanic borrowing (cf. Ger. Löwe) found in most European languages, often via Germanic (cf. O.C.S. liva, Pol. lew, Czech lev, O.Ir. leon, Welsh lew). 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 1790.