winsome

adjective
win·​some | \ ˈwin(t)-səm How to pronounce winsome (audio) \

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for winsome

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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 Much of this winsome formula was replicated and lightly parodied by a 2000s Black family sitcom, which pointedly rejected its predecessor’s vision of White, middle-class Americana. Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2021 Virginie also has a winsome young daughter, Maya (Lilou Siauvaud), who naturally hits it off with Bill immediately, raising the specter of a redemptive second shot at fatherhood. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021 Especially in the pilot, the show offers a winsome combination of innocence and absurdity. Kyle Smith, National Review, 3 Sep. 2021 Virginie also has a winsome young daughter, Maya (Lilou Siauvaud), who naturally hits it off with Bill immediately, raising the specter of a redemptive second shot at fatherhood. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021 The portraits radiate innocence, with the artist’s typical pastel colors and the girls’ sweet, winsome expressions (see illustration on page 20). David A. Bell, The New York Review of Books, 1 July 2021 Virginie also has a winsome young daughter, Maya (Lilou Siauvaud), who naturally hits it off with Bill immediately, raising the specter of a redemptive second shot at fatherhood. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021 Virginie also has a winsome young daughter, Maya (Lilou Siauvaud), who naturally hits it off with Bill immediately, raising the specter of a redemptive second shot at fatherhood. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2021 Virginie also has a winsome young daughter, Maya (Lilou Siauvaud), who naturally hits it off with Bill immediately, raising the specter of a redemptive second shot at fatherhood. Los Angeles Times, 9 July 2021

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

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Dictionary Entries Near winsome

Winslow system

winsome

win someone's heart

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Last Updated

5 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Winsome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/winsome. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce winsome (audio) \

Kids Definition of winsome

More from Merriam-Webster on winsome

Nglish: Translation of winsome for Spanish Speakers

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