verb: to treat as an object of great interest or importance
In his letter to the editor, Jeremy denounced the mass media’s tendency to lionize accused murderers.
“More than a music hall, the beloved nightclub in the space now occupied by The Social was a pop-culture salon. It was the place to see musicians later lionized in indie-rock—singer-songwriters such as Elliott Smith, bands such as Guided By Voices—in a room painstakingly devoted to the experience.” — From an article by Jim Abbott in the Orlando Sentinel, April 1, 2014
Did you know?
The lion is traditionally regarded as the king of beasts—perceived as brave, stately, and ferocious. Those qualities were probably in people’s minds when, in the 18th century, “lion” came to be used for a person who is similarly well-regarded, especially after a long and distinguished career in a particular field. A veteran lawmaker might be considered one of the lions of the Senate; a literary lion has enjoyed a long career as a successful writer. This sense of “lion” forms the basis of “lionize,” which first appeared in English in the early 19th century.