Pronunciation Noun
  1. A big cat, Panthera leo, native to Africa, India and formerly much of Europe.
    Tigers and lions share a common ancestor from a few million years ago.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938 ↗, book II, canto IX, stanza 14, page 311 ↗:
      For with ſuch puiſſance and impetuous maine / Thoſe Champions broke on them, that forſt the fly, / Like ſcattered Sheepe, whenas the Shepherds ſwaine / A Lyon and a Tigre doth eſpye, / With greedy pace forth ruſhing from the foreſt nye.
    1. (in particular) A male lion, as opposed to a lioness.
  2. (by extension) Any of various extant and extinct big cats, especially the mountain lion.
  3. A Chinese foo dog.
  4. An individual who shows strength and courage, attributes associated with the lion.
    • 2003, Peter Armstrong and Angus McBride, Stirling Bridge & Falkirk 1297–98: William Wallace's Rebellion:
      It was said of [Edward Plantaganet] that 'he was a lion for pride and ferocity but a pard for inconstancy and changeableness, not keeping his word or promise but excusing himself with fair words'.
  5. A famous person regarded with interest and curiosity.
    • Such society was far more enjoyable than that of Edinburgh, for here he was not a lion, but a man.
    • 1919, W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, ch. 4
      Rose Waterford was a cynic. She looked upon life as an opportunity for writing novels and the public as her raw material. Now and then she invited members of it to her house if they showed an appreciation of her talent and entertained with proper lavishness. She held their weakness for lions in good-humoured contempt, but played to them her part of the distinguished woman of letters with decorum.
  6. A light brown color that resembles the fur of a lion.
  7. (historical) An old Scottish coin, with a lion on the obverse, worth 74 shillings.
Related terms Translations Translations Translations
  • French: leon

lion (not comparable)

  1. Of the light brown color that resembles the fur of a lion.


lion (plural lions)

  1. (American football) A player for National Football League's Detroit Lions.
  2. (Canadian football) A player for Canadian Football League's B.C. Lions.

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.003
Offline English dictionary