from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To look on or treat (a person) as a celebrity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To treat as a lion, or as an object of curiosity and interest. See lion, n., 6.
  • To exhibit objects of curiosity to.
  • To visit or explore as a sight-seer: as, to lionize Niagara.
  • To visit the lions or objects of interest or curiosity in a place. Also spelled lionise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To treat or regard as a lion or object of great interest.
  • transitive verb To show the lions or objects of interest to; to conduct about among objects of interest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To treat (a person) as if he were important, or a celebrity.
  • verb transitive To visit famous places in order to revere them.
  • verb intransitive To behave as a lion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb assign great social importance to


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From lion +‎ -ize.


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  • to treat as a celebrity

    August 1, 2009

  • the right lionizes Ronald Reagan, the left lionizes FDR

    September 24, 2010

  • (verb) - To treat and exhibit as an object of interest. Originally to take visitors to see the lions formerly kept at the Tower of London. Hence lion-hunter, one given to lionizing people, popularized by Dickens in Mr. and Mrs. Leo Hunter in Pickwick Papers. --Albert Hyamson's Dictionary of English Phrases, 1922

    February 11, 2018

  • My understanding of lionize is, for example, when you take over a conversation, or hog a conversation, you are lionizing the conversation. I have always associated the word with attention hogs with no manners. I also associate it with ‘taking the LION’s share of something.

    December 12, 2021

  • That's not the general understanding.

    December 12, 2021

  • Bilby is correct.

    Bilby is (almost) always correct.

    Hi, oh big-eared one!

    December 16, 2021