lis·​some | \ ˈli-səm How to pronounce lissome (audio) \
variants: or less commonly lissom

Definition of lissome

1a : easily flexed
2 : nimble

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Other Words from lissome

lissomely adverb
lissomeness noun

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Lissome (sometimes spelled "lissom") is a gently altered form of its synonym, "lithesome." While "lissome" tends to be the more popular choice these days, the two words have similar pasts. They both appeared in the second half of the 18th century, and they both trace back to the much older "lithe" ("supple" or "graceful"), which first appeared in English during the 14th century and comes from an Old English word meaning "gentle." "Lissome" can also be an adverb meaning "in a supple or nimble manner," but this use is rare.

Examples of lissome in a Sentence

the lissome actress's dance training is apparent in the way she moves on stage rattan is such a lissome material that it can be used for all manner of furniture and baskets
Recent Examples on the Web Jack collected lissome locks of women’s pubic hair. Claire Messud, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 The 5000 has one of the most lissome combinations of ride and handling of any car on the road; the 4000, however, is less smooth and less graceful. Steve Smith, Car and Driver, 14 Aug. 2020 Coming on the heels of a few years of public disintegration, he’d been humbled, or wished to appear that way: a handed-the-world boy forced to disavow the person fame had turned him into, singing lissome songs of apology. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, 14 Feb. 2020 One of my more luminous memories of that odd year, 1974, was a dance performed in Central Park in New York by three long and lissome non-pregnant maidens in white gauze gym suits. Charles Mccabe, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lissome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lissome

1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lissome

alteration of lithesome

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Time Traveler for lissome

Time Traveler

The first known use of lissome was in 1763

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Statistics for lissome

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lissome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for lissome



English Language Learners Definition of lissome

: thin and graceful

More from Merriam-Webster on lissome

Nglish: Translation of lissome for Spanish Speakers


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