sea lion

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See also: sealion and sea-lion


A group of sea lions.
A heraldic sea lion.

Alternative forms[edit]


From sea +‎ lion, named from its marine habitat and its lion-like barking roar and mane. Compare Middle English see hound, cee-hound, se hound (beaver, literally sea-hound).


  • IPA(key): /ˈsiː ˈlaɪən/, /ˈsiːˌlaɪən/
  • (file)


sea lion (plural sea lions)

  1. A marine mammal of any of several genera in the family Otariidae (the eared seals).
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 6, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      But Sophia's mother was not the woman to brook defiance. After a few moments' vain remonstrance her husband complied. His manner and appearance were suggestive of a satiated sea-lion.
    • 2010, Larry Medina, The Adventures of Peek a Boo the Sea Lion, unnumbered page:
      Peek a Boo said, "I'm sorry guys, please tell my father that I'm ok. You see, I'm trying to become the first sea lion to become a Navy Seal.” The Jamaican Shaken Crabs looked at each other and said, “I don't know if your father told you, but you're a sea lion and no sea lion has ever become a Navy Seal."
    • 2013, Caroline Arnold, Sea Lion[1], page 28:
      Sea lion pups are born with baby teeth, but most of these are replaced with permanent adult teeth by the time the pup is four months old. An adult sea lion has a total of 34 to 36 teeth, with 10 incisors in the front (six in the upper jaw and four in the lower jaw) plus two long canines and 10 to 12 cheek teeth on each side. Sea lions do not chew their food.
    • 2013, Paul Binder, Never Quote the Weather to a Sea Lion: And Other Uncommon Tales from the Founder of the Big Apple Circus[2], page 6:
      When people ask me what the circus is really like behind the scenes, I tell them about runaway gypsy wagons, vanished acrobats, desperate ringmasters and recalcitrant sea lions to name a few.
  2. (heraldry) A monster consisting of the upper part of a lion combined with the tail of a fish (a lion marined).
  3. (US, slang, historical) A steamer transporting cattle from the ports of Texas.
  4. (US, slang, historical) A cow or bull transported by steamer from the ports of Texas.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


sea lion (third-person singular simple present sea lions, present participle sea lioning, simple past and past participle sea lioned)

  1. (rare) Alternative form of sealion (engage in disingenuous debate)

Further reading[edit]