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From Middle English, from Old English wynsum(winsome, pleasant, joyful, merry), from Proto-Germanic *wunisamaz(joyful), from *wunjō(joy, delight, desire), from Proto-Indo-European *wun-, *wenh₁-(to wish, love), equivalent to winne +‎ -some. Cognate with Scots winsome, wunsome(charming, comely, pleasing), Middle High German wunnesam(winsome, joyful, delightful), Old English wynn(joy, rapture, pleasure, delight), German Wonne(bliss, delight, joy). More at winne, winly.



winsome ‎(comparative winsomer, superlative winsomest)

  1. Charming, winning, engaging; inspiring trust and approval, especially if in an innocent manner.
    His bedside manner was especially winsome.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses Chapter 13
      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.

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