Ngonyama, noun

Ingonyama, IngwenyamaShow more Also Ingonyama, Ingwenyama, Ngwenyama, and with small initial.
IsiZulu, SiswatiShow more IsiZulu ingonyama, Siswati ingwenyama.
1. Always with initial capital. ‘The Lion’, a hereditary title of Zulu and Swazi kings. See also Indlovu.
1941 [see Ndlovukazi].
1964 Drum Nov. 25During all my days at the Zulu Royal kraal, I knew that many people did not like me, especially those closely attached to the Ngonyama.
1975 E. Prov. Herald 22 Aug. 13King Sobhuza, known to his subjects as Ngwenyama (‘the great lion’) makes no concessions to effete European manners.
1982 Pace Nov. 90On August 21 an unsuspecting Swazi nation was stunned by the news that the Ingwenyama — the Lion — was dead.
1986 J. Deacon in S. Afr. Panorama Aug. 21King Mswati — the Ngwenyama (lion) is one of his titles...sat in a blue armchair with the principal secretary for the Swazi Ministry of Foreign Affairs..doing most of the talking.
c1988 J. Nxumalo in Proc. of Internat. Symposium: Nat. Parks, Nature Reserves & Neighbours (Endangered Wildlife Trust)The Zulu Nation consists of a number of Tribes which all pay allegiance to the Zulu King or Ingonyama.
1994 King G. Zwelithini in Tribute May 40I, Zwelithini Goodwill Zulu ka Bhekuzulu, presently the Ngonyama of the Zulus, solemn word that I will withhold myself from any participation in any form of politics.
2. A lion.
[1961 T.V. Bulpin White Whirlwind 55‘What is it?’ Johan whispered. The guide inclined his head. ‘Ingonyama,’ he replied, using the Zulu name for a lion, which means a wild beast of prey.]
1978 A. Elliott Sons of Zulu 95The King at his formal installation...The lion and the elephant on his throne (Ngonyama and Ndlovu) are symbolic of power and strength — characteristics always associated by the Zulu with their king.
1981 Bona Jan. 38One night, the ngwenyama comes to a lonely tracker’s camp in a northern Transvaal game reserve to eat his wife...and the nightmare begins.
Always with initial capital.‘The Lion’, a hereditary title of Zulu and Swazi kings.
A lion.
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