[win-suh m]


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 winsomely

Historical Examples of winsomely

  • Ah, when shall I be able to rise up out of this lower life, and fly to her who beckons me so winsomely?

    The Quest

    Frederik van Eeden

  • If you will, of your own glad accord, freely, winsomely take the yoke upon you--that is what He asks.

  • Those who have themselves learned the truth and are patiently, faithfully, winsomely telling and teaching others.

  • His 'friendships' and associates, so winsomely 'sung' of, will demand full after-notice.

  • He looked at me with his young blue eyes, eyes so bright, so navely inquisitive, so winsomely meditative.

    The White Peacock

    D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

British Dictionary definitions for winsomely



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 winsomely



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