[ win-suh m ]
/ ˈwɪn səm /


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 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