- Leu (archaic; poetic)
From Middle High German lewe, from Old High German leo (both with variants), from Latin leō. The prevalent form in early modern German was Leu with regular development of -ew- into the diphthong -eu- (compare freuen from Old High German frewan). The pronunciation with a labial consonant is originally chiefly Central German.
- Löwe in Duden online