[ win-suh m ]
/ ˈwɪn səm /


sweetly or innocently charming; winning; engaging: a winsome smile.

Nearby words

  1. wino,
  2. winona,
  3. winslet,
  4. winslow,
  5. winslow, edward,
  6. winsomely,
  7. winsor,
  8. winsor, justin,
  9. winstanley,
  10. winston

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for winsome

British Dictionary definitions for winsome


/ (ˈwɪnsəm) /


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