winsome

play
adjective win·some \ˈwin(t)-səm\

Definition of winsome

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

  2. 2 :  cheerful, lighthearted

winsomely

adverb

winsomeness

noun

winsome was our Word of the Day on 03/09/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of winsome in a Sentence

  1. He had a winsome, boyish smile.

  2. she was a bright, winsome gamine who could draw a smile out of anyone

Recent Examples of winsome from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of winsome

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


First Known Use: before 12th century


WINSOME Defined for English Language Learners

winsome

play
adjective

Definition of winsome for English Language Learners

  • : cheerful, pleasant, and appealing


WINSOME Defined for Kids

winsome

play
adjective win·some \ˈwin-səm\

Definition of winsome for Students

  1. :  2winning 2



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