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From Middle English gamsome, gamsum, equivalent to game +‎ -some.


gamesome (comparative more gamesome, superlative most gamesome)

  1. Full of sport; playful
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 9:
      In their gamesome but still serious way, one whispers to the other—“Jack, he’s robbed a widow;” or, “Joe, do you mark him; he’s a bigamist;” ...
    • 1862, Jean Ingelow, “Persephone”, in Poems[1]:
      She stepped upon Sicilian grass, / Demeter's daughter, fresh and fair, / A child of light, a radiant lass, / And gamesome as the morning air.
    • 1915, Richard Le Gallienne, Vanishing Roads and Other Essays[2]:
      Yet it was some time before Teddy would admit him into anything like what one might call intimacy, and premature attempts at gamesome familiarity were checked by the gathering thunder of a lazy growl that unmistakably bade the youngster keep his place.
    • 2001 January 26, Erik Piepenburg, “Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead”, in Chicago Reader[3]:
      Tom Stoppard secured his place on the theatrical map in 1967 with this wordy curiosity, a highly philosophical but stage-smart play crafted by a gamesome wordsmith enamored of the power of language.


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