winsome

adjective
win·some | \ˈwin(t)-səm \

Definition of winsome 

1 : generally pleasing and engaging often because of a childlike charm and innocence a winsome smile

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Other Words from winsome

winsomely adverb
winsomeness noun

Did You Know?

Winsome began as "wynsum" a thousand years ago. It was formed from "wynn," the Old English word for "joy" or "pleasure," and the suffix -sum, an older form of the "-some" we see today in many adjectives, such as "awesome," "irksome," and "lonesome." "Wynn" later became win, meaning "pleasure," but we haven't used that noun since the 17th century. We do, however, use another word that has a "pleasing" connection and is related, albeit distantly, to "winsome." "Winning" ("tending to please or delight," as in "a winning smile" or "winning ways"), the present participle of the familiar verb "win," is from Old English winnan, meaning "to struggle." Both "winnan" and "wynn" are thought to be related to Latin venus, which means, among other things, "charm."

Examples of winsome in a Sentence

He had a winsome, boyish smile. she was a bright, winsome gamine who could draw a smile out of anyone

Recent Examples on the Web

Camille Preaker, our protagonist, is more winsome than Libby Day, but only incidentally (and only incrementally). A.j. Finn, chicagotribune.com, "Gillian Flynn's 'Sharp Objects' gives women permission to be bad," 13 July 2018 And winsome twinkles shine through the blackness throughout, thanks in no small part to Offutt’s keen ear and eye. New York Times, "A Novel of Kentucky Noir, So Humane It’s Bathed in Light," 23 May 2018 Maine College of Art’s Golaleh Yazdani delivers a winsome animation and Krystle Brown, of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, has a hypnotic video of a ritual amid urban rubble. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "When student work is well worth studying," 4 July 2018 Is there any performer more winsome and charismatic than Mr. Cumming? Kasia Pilat, New York Times, "5 Comedy Shows to Catch in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 14 June 2018 By then the winsome journeywoman had won over the crowd. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Camila Giorgi Has Talent to Stay on Tour, But Finding Finances a Struggle," 10 Jan. 2014 Marziale, however, is a charismatic though criminally underused discovery, and the film provides a performance showcase for the winsome Weinstein. Katie Walsh, latimes.com, "Teen comedy 'Alex Strangelove' strikes the wrong chords," 7 June 2018 Sparkling lights, winsome greenery and decorous florals abounded in the St. Charles Room of Loyola University Danna Center for the Holy Name of Jesus School's auction and gala on April 6. Sue Strachan, NOLA.com, "Holy Name of Jesus School gala a spritely success," 8 May 2018 There is also his affecting and oh-so-recognizable account of his own conversion to Catholicism, and the usual flashes of dry wit and winsome wisdom. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Pope Francis Isn’t Catholicism’s Trump," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'winsome.' 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 winsome

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for winsome

Middle English winsum, from Old English wynsum, from wynn joy; akin to Old High German wunna joy, Latin venus desire — more at win

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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The first known use of winsome was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for winsome

winsome

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of winsome

: cheerful, pleasant, and appealing

winsome

adjective
win·some | \ˈwin-səm \

Kids Definition of winsome

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More from Merriam-Webster on winsome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for winsome

Spanish Central: Translation of winsome

Nglish: Translation of winsome for Spanish Speakers

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