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lionize (verb) make a hero of a person.
When people treat a person as a hero, as a famous and important person, they lionize them. They adore them. People lionize great actors, famous players and well known singers, etc., if they treat them as great or important persons.
- Her success in two movies was enough to make people lionize her. They adored her for more than her action; they developed such admiration for her as to treat her as superhuman.
- Indians lionize Mahatma Gandhi, and justly so. Who else deserves to be treated as great and important if not he, who gave the world a new weapon to fight – the weapon of peace and nonviolence?