Lion Li"on (l[imac]"[u^]n), n. [F. lion, L. leo, -onis, akin to Gr. le`wn. Cf. {Chameleon}, {Dandelion}, {Leopard}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) A large carnivorous feline mammal ({Panthera leo}, formerly {Felis leo}), found in Southern Asia and in most parts of Africa, distinct varieties occurring in the different countries. The adult male, in most varieties, has a thick mane of long shaggy hair that adds to his apparent size, which is less than that of the largest tigers. The length, however, is sometimes eleven feet to the base of the tail. The color is a tawny yellow or yellowish brown; the mane is darker, and the terminal tuft of the tail is black. In one variety, called the {maneless lion}, the male has only a slight mane. [1913 Webster]

2. (Astron.) A sign and a constellation; Leo. [1913 Webster]

3. An object of interest and curiosity, especially a person who is so regarded; as, he was quite a lion in London at that time. [1913 Webster]

Such society was far more enjoyable than that of Edinburgh, for here he was not a lion, but a man. --Prof. Wilson. [1913 Webster]

{American lion} (Zo["o]l.), the puma or cougar.

{Lion ant} (Zo["o]l.), the ant-lion.

{Lion dog} (Zo["o]l.), a fancy dog with a flowing mane, usually clipped to resemble a lion's mane.

{Lion lizard} (Zo["o]l.), the basilisk.

{Lion's share}, all, or nearly all; the best or largest part; -- from [AE]sop's fable of the lion hunting in company with certain smaller beasts, and appropriating to himself all the prey.

{Lion of Lucerne}, a famous sculptured lion at Lucerne, Switzerland, designed by Thorwaldsen and dedicated in 1821 as a memorial to the Swiss Guards who fell defending Louis XVI. in the attack of the mob on the Tuileries, Aug. 10, 1792. The animal, which is hewn out of the face of a rock, is represented as transfixed with a broken spear and dying, but still trying to protect with its paw a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of France.

{Lion of St. Mark}, a winged lion, the emblem of the evangelist Mark, especially that of bronze surmounting a granite column in the Piazzetta at Venice, and holding in its fore paws an open book representing St. Mark's Gospel.

{Lion of the North}, Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632), King of Sweden, the hero of the Protestant faith in the Thirty Years' War. [1913 Webster + Webster 1913 Suppl.]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • lion — [ ljɔ̃ ] n. m. • 1080; lat. leo, leonis I ♦ 1 ♦ Grand mammifère carnivore, grand félin à pelage fauve, à crinière brune et fournie, à queue terminée par une grosse touffe de poils, vivant en Afrique et en Asie. Les lions de l Atlas ont disparu.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • lion — [lī′ən] n. pl. lions or lion [OFr < L leo (gen. leonis) < Gr leōn (gen. leontos)] 1. a large, powerful cat (Panthera leo), found in Africa and SW Asia, with a tawny coat, a tufted tail, and, in the adult male, a shaggy mane: in folklore and …   English World dictionary

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