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winsome

[win-suh m]
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adjective
  1. sweetly or innocently charming; winning; engaging: a winsome smile.

Origin of winsome

before 900; Middle English winsom, Old English wynsum, equivalent to wyn joy (see wynn) + -sum -some1
Related formswin·some·ly, adverbwin·some·ness, nounun·win·some, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for winsome

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Under her winsome smile, at last, he regained the use of his tongue.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • Then was laughter of liegemen loud resounding with winsome words.

    Beowulf

    Anonymous

  • "It were a winsome wee thing," he said, faintly, and then turned away.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • The face as he saw it then was no longer the face of the winsome bride.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • She was little changed, this winsome lady in the time that was sped.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for winsome

winsome

adjective
  1. charming; winning; engaginga winsome smile
Derived Formswinsomely, adverbwinsomeness, noun

Word Origin

Old English wynsum, from wynn joy (related to Old High German wunnia, German Wonne) + -sum -some 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for winsome

adj.

Old English wynsum "agreeable, pleasant," from wynn "pleasure, delight" (cf. German Wonne "joy, delight;" see win (v.)) + -sum (see -some (1)). Apparently surviving only in northern English dialect for 400 years until revived 18c. by Hamilton, Burns, and other Scottish poets.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper