Etymology
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lion (n.)

late 12c., from Old French lion "lion," also figuratively "hero" (12c.), from Latin leonem (nominative leo) "lion; the constellation Leo," from Greek leon (genitive leontos), a word from a non-Indo-European language, perhaps Semitic (compare Hebrew labhi "lion," plural lebaim; Egyptian labai, lawai "lioness"). Old English had the word straight from Latin as leo (Anglian lea).

The Latin word was borrowed throughout Germanic (compare Old Frisian lawa; Middle Dutch leuwe, Dutch leeuw; Old High German lewo, German Löwe); it is also found in most other European languages, often via Germanic (Old Church Slavonic livu, Polish lew, Czech lev, Old Irish leon, Welsh llew).

Extended 17c. to American big cats. Sometimes used ironically of other animals (for example Cotswold lion "sheep" (16c.; lyons of Cotteswold is from mid-15c.). In early 19c., to avoid advertising breaches of the game laws, hare, when served as food was listed as lion.

Paired alliteratively with lamb since late 14c. Used figuratively from c. 1200 in English of lion-like persons, in an approving sense, "one who is fiercely brave," and a disapproving one, "tyrannical leader, greedy devourer." Lion-hearted is from 1708. Lion's share "the greatest portion" is attested from 1701. The image of the lion's mouth as a place of great danger is from c. 1200. 

Lowse me, lauerd, ut of þe liunes muð. ["St. Margaret of Antioch," c. 1200]
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sea-lion (n.)
c. 1600, "kind of lobster," from sea + lion. Later the name of a fabulous animal (in heraldry, etc.), 1660s. Applied from 1690s to various species of large eared seals. As code name for the planned German invasion of Britain, it translates German Seelöwe, announced by Hitler July 1940, scrubbed October 1940.
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Lionel 
masc. proper name, from French, literally "young lion" (see lion), from Old French lionel, also lioncel.
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liger (n.)
1938, the word, like the thing, a forced mating of lion and tiger.
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lioness (n.)
"female lion," c. 1300, leoness, from lion + -ess. From late 14c., of persons, "fierce or cruel woman." From 1590s as "woman who is boldly public;" from 1808 as "woman who is a focus of public interest."
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Sierra Leone 
West African nation, literally "lion mountains," from Spanish sierra "mountain range" (see sierra) + leon "lion" (see lion). Attested from mid-15c. in Portuguese explorers' accounts, and a very early explanation of the name derives it from the "roaring" of thunder in the mountains. Related: Sierra Leonean.
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Leonard 
masc. proper name, from French Léonard, Old French Leonard, from German Leonhard, from Old High German *Lewenhart, literally "strong as a lion," from lewo (from Latin Leo, see lion) + hart "hard" (from PIE root *kar- "hard").
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lionize (v.)
"to treat (someone) as a celebrity," 1809 (Scott), a hybrid from lion + -ize. It preserves lion in the sense of "person of note who is much sought-after" (1715), a sense said to have been extended from the lions formerly kept in the Tower of London (proverbial from late 16c.) that were objects of general curiosity that every visitor in town was taken to see. Related: Lionized; lionizing.
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Leo 
zodiac constellation, late Old English, from Latin leo "lion" (see lion). Meaning "person born under the sign of Leo" is from 1894. Leonid "meteor which appears to radiate from Leo" is from 1868; the annual shower peaks Nov. 14 and the stars fall in extreme profusion about every 33 years. The meteors are believed now to be associated with comet Tempel–Tuttle. The dim constellation Leo Minor was introduced 1690 by Hevelius.
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chameleon (n.)

lizard-like reptile notable for its ability to change color, mid-14c., camelion, from Old French caméléon, from Latin chamaeleon, from Greek khamaileon "the chameleon," from khamai "on the ground" (also "dwarf"), akin to chthon "earth" (from PIE root *dhghem- "earth") + leon "lion" (see lion).

Perhaps the large head-crest on some species was thought to resemble a lion's mane. Greek khamalos meant "on the ground, creeping," also "low, trifling, diminutive." The classical -h- was restored in English early 18c. Figurative sense of "variable person" is 1580s. It formerly was supposed to live on air (as in "Hamlet" III.ii.98). The constellation was one of the 11 added to Ptolemy's list in the 1610s by Flemish cartographer Petrus Plancius (1552-1622) after Europeans began to explore the Southern Hemisphere.

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