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Ancient GreekEdit

Λίθινος τῆς Δήλου λέων


Many ancient languages possessed similar words for lion, including Akkadian 𒌨 (labbu) (reconstructed to Proto-Semitic *labiʾ-) and Egyptian rw. It is unclear which of them are related and who borrowed from whom. The ultimate source is likely not Indo-European, however.

The τ (t) in the stem λεοντ- (leont-) was influenced by the present participle. The original stem was *λεον- (*leon-), as shown by λέαινα (léaina, female lion) and Latin leō. If the stem were originally λεοντ- (leont-), the feminine form would be *λέουσα (*léousa).




λέων (léōnm (genitive λέοντος); third declension

  1. lion
    • 428 BCE – 347 BCE, Plato, The Statesman 291a.9:
      πολλοὶ μὲν γὰρ λέουσι τῶν ἀνδρῶν εἴξασι καὶ Κενταύροις καὶ τοιούτοισιν ἑτέροις
      polloì mèn gàr léousi tôn andrôn eíxasi kaì Kentaúrois kaì toioútoisin hetérois
  2. lionheart, savage (one having the characteristics of a lion (positive or negative): savage, noble, or brave)

Usage notesEdit

Alternative forms of the dative plural include λείουσι (leíousi) (late Epic) and λεόντεσσι (leóntessi).


Derived termsEdit


  • Coptic: ⲗⲉⲱⲛ (leōn)
  • Latin: leō (see there for further descendants)

Further readingEdit


Alternative formsEdit


λέων (léonm (plural λέοντες)

  1. Katharevousa form of λιοντάρι (liontári, lion, brave man)