From lion + -ize.
lionize (third-person singular simple present lionizes, present participle lionizing, simple past and past participle lionized)
- (transitive) To treat (a person) as if they were important, or a celebrity.
1995 (date of the publication of the anthology), Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: a Trilogy in Five Parts, ISBN 0434003484, page 239:
- Flare-riding is one of the most exotic and exhilarating sports in existence, and those who can dare and afford to do it are amongst the most lionized men in the Galaxy.
- (transitive) To visit famous places in order to revere them.
- (intransitive) To behave as a lion.