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A lioness.


lion +‎ -ess.


lioness (plural lionesses, masculine lion)

  1. A female lion (animal).
    Synonym: (idiomatic) queen of beasts
  2. A female lion (famous person regarded with interest and curiosity).
    • 1877, The Contemporary Review (volume 29, page 1123)
      The stories were a tremendous success; she was one of the leading lionesses of London literary society.
  3. (Britain, obsolete, Oxford University slang) A female visitor to a student at Oxford, especially during commemoration week.
    • 1871, John Cordy Jeaffreson, Annals of Oxford (page 305)
      When "lionesses" visiting Oxford for the gay doings of commemoration week spend a morning at Merton, they should look out for Antony Wood's mural tablet in the chapel, []
    • 1888, Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown at Oxford (page 271)
      "Now, boys, keep your eyes open, there must be plenty of lionesses about;" and thus warned, the whole load, including the cornopean player, were on the look-out for lady visitors, profanely called lionesses, all the way up the street.



  • 1873, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary