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Word of the Day
Saturday, May 27, 2017

Definitions for winsome

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

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Citations for winsome
... two persons living together, as master and mistress of the house, and father and mother of a winsome, merry little child ... Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Windfell Hall, 1848
In the last scenes, the Beatles get down to work, or play. Winsome Paul, witty John, thoughtful George, goofy Ringo. Carolyn See, "A Way to Live in the World," The Beatles Are Here!: 50 Years after the Nand Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians, and Other Fans Remember, edited by Penelope Rowlands, 2014
Origin of winsome
Winsome comes from a Proto-Indo-European root wen-, won- (with other variants) originally meaning “to strive, work hard for” but developing the senses “to desire, love, please.” In Latin the root appears in venus “love (romantic, sexual), Venus (goddess and planet)"; even the month April was called veneris mēnsis “month of Venus.” (Roman scholars thought, wrongly, that venus came from the verb venīre “to come” because “love comes to all.”) Venus is related to German wünschen and Old English wӯscan “to wish.” Other derivatives of the root in Old English include winnan “to strive after,” wine “friend,” and the noun wynn or wen “joy, pleasure.” Wynn is also the Old English name for the rune ƿ, representing the sound w and later replaced by uu ("double u") and still later by w. Winsome entered English before 900.