winsome

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English winsǒm, winsome, winsum, wunsum (fair, pleasing to the senses; agreeable, gracious, pleasant; generous; of situations: favourable, propitious), from Old English wynsum (joyful, merry, pleasant; winsome),[1] from Proto-Germanic *wunisamaz, *wunjōsamaz (joyful), from *wunjō (delight, desire, joy), from Proto-Indo-European *wenh₁- (to love; to wish), equivalent to winne ((obsolete) delight, joy, pleasure) +‎ -some. The word is cognate with Middle High German wunnesam (delightful, joyful; winsome) (modern German Wonne (bliss, delight, joy)), Old English wynn (delight, joy, pleasure, rapture), Scots winsome, wunsome (charming, comely, pleasing). See also winne, winly.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

winsome (comparative winsomer, superlative winsomest)

  1. Charming, engaging, winning; inspiring approval and trust, especially if in an innocent manner.
    The doctor’s bedside manner was especially winsome.
    • 1851 October, Jonathan Freke Slingsby [pseudonym; John Francis Waller], “Slingsby in Scotland. Part II.—Conclusion.”, in The Dublin University Magazine, a Literary and Political Journal, volume XXXVIII, number CCXXVI, Dublin: James McGlashan, 50 Upper Sackville-St.; London: W[illia]m S[omerville] Orr, OCLC 841086102, stanza I, page 494:
      Will ye keep your troth to me, / Winsome Annie Ramsay? / Will ye keep your troth to me, / Winsome Annie Ramsay? / Will ye keep your troth to me? / My ain true luve will ye be? / Then meet me at the trysting tree, / Winsome Annie Ramsay.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 13, Nausicaa]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, October 1922, OCLC 2297483, page 333:
      Gerty MacDowell who was seated near her companions, lost in thought, gazing far away into the distance was in very truth as fair a specimen of winsome Irish girlhood as one could wish to see.
    • 1923, Song Ong Siang, “The Ninth Decade (1899–1909): Second Part”, in One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore: Being a Chronological Record of the Contribution by the Chinese Community to the Development, Progress and Prosperity of Singapore; of Events and Incidents Concerning the Whole or Sections of that Community; and of the Lives, Pursuits and Public Service of Individual Members thereof from the Foundation of Singapore on 6th February 1819 to Its Centenary on 6th February 1919 [...] With Numerous Portraits and Illustrations, London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, W., OCLC 417315791, page 377:
      He [Ching Keng Lee] is a man of fine physique and above the height of the average Straits-born, with a shrewd business head, and affable and winsome manners, and continues to take a keen interest in public affairs.
    • 1961, David Alexander, “When the Rain Stops”, in Hangman’s Dozen, New York, N.Y.: Roy Publishers, OCLC 1118558, page 216:
      The pink wallpaper of the nursery was decorated with a Noah's Ark of friendly lions and comical giraffes and winsome elephants.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ winsǒm, adj.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 19 March 2018.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]