[win-suh m]
See more synonyms for winsome on

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for winsome

Contemporary Examples of winsome

Historical Examples of winsome

  • 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.



  • "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


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

Word Origin for winsome

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

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