lion's share

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A 1501 illustration of Aesop’s fable De leone, vacca, capra et ove (The Lion, Cow, Goat, and Sheep), or The Lion’s Share[n 1]

From Aesop’s fable The Lion's Share, in which a lion claims the full amount of the spoil after hunting with a number of other beasts. In one version of the fable, the lion claims three-quarters of the kill rather than the whole, leaving the three other animals to fight over the remaining quarter, making “about three-quarters” the technical definition according to that version.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

lion's share (plural lion's shares or lions' shares)

  1. (idiomatic) The majority; a large or generous portion.
    They got a large donation, but the lion’s share of the money went straight into paying off debt.
    • 2011 February 12, Les Roopanarine, “Birmingham 1 – 0 Stoke”, in BBC Sport[1], archived from the original on 14 June 2018:
      Yet it could have been so different for Tony Pulis's side, who weathered a good start by the hosts to create the lion's share of what few first-half chances came along.

Translations[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From Aesop; Heinrich Steinhöwel, transl.; Sebastian Brant, compiler (1501) Esopi appologi sive mythologi cum quibusdam carminum et fabularum additionibus [...] [Aesop’s Fables or Myths with Additions of Songs and Fables by Other People [...]], Basel: Opera et impensa Jacobi [Wolff] de Phortzheim, OCLC 758106688.

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Anagrams[edit]