Word of the Day

Sunday, August 22, 1999


\WIN-suhm\ , adjective;
Cheerful; merry; gay; light-hearted.
Causing joy or pleasure; agreeable; pleasant.
And, oh, it was a sweet smile, they said, none sweeter, so winsome and large it transformed her melancholy face.
-- Flavia Alaya, Under the Rose
The first time I met Diana, she was a winsome little girl full of energy and mischief.
-- Annabel Goldsmith, "I will miss her smile", Daily Telegraph, September 3, 1997
Every town has them, the youngsters who light up the headlines in the provincial papers, who smash under-age scoring records and throw you a winsome smile just to top it all.
-- "O'Shea junior's date with destiny", Irish Times, August 29, 1998
Willard R. Espy . . . had such a winsome way with words, such an elegant ear for rhyme and such a sure sense of the absurd that he once began a poem with the words 'I do not roister with an oyster'.
-- "Willard R. Espy, 88, Scholar and Practitioner of Wordplay", New York Times, February 25, 1999
Winsome is from Old English wynsum, from wynn, "joy" + -sum (equivalent to Modern English -some), "characterized by."
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