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[win-suh m] /ˈwɪn səm/
sweetly or innocently charming; winning; engaging:
a winsome smile.
Origin of winsome
before 900; Middle English winsom, Old English wynsum, equivalent to wyn joy (see wynn) + -sum -some1
Related forms
winsomely, adverb
winsomeness, noun
unwinsome, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for winsomely
Historical Examples
  • She smiled broadly but winsomely, showing those charming beefsteak-polished teeth.

    The River and I John G. Neihardt
  • He looked at me with his young blue eyes, eyes so bright, so navely inquisitive, so winsomely meditative.

    The White Peacock D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • If you will, of your own glad accord, freely, winsomely take the yoke upon you--that is what He asks.

    Quiet Talks on Service S. D. Gordon
  • There was a demon of mockery playing in the curves of the scarlet lips, as she smiled so winsomely.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Those who have themselves learned the truth and are patiently, faithfully, winsomely telling and teaching others.

    Quiet Talks on Service S. D. Gordon
  • His 'friendships' and associates, so winsomely 'sung' of, will demand full after-notice.

  • Ah, when shall I be able to rise up out of this lower life, and fly to her who beckons me so winsomely?

    The Quest Frederik van Eeden
British Dictionary definitions for winsomely


charming; winning; engaging: a winsome smile
Derived Forms
winsomely, adverb
winsomeness, noun
Word Origin
Old English wynsum, from wynn joy (related to Old High German wunnia, German Wonne) + -sum-some1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for winsomely



Old English wynsum "agreeable, pleasant," from wynn "pleasure, delight" (cf. German Wonne "joy, delight;" see win (v.)) + -sum (see -some (1)). Apparently surviving only in northern English dialect for 400 years until revived 18c. by Hamilton, Burns, and other Scottish poets.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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