win·some (wĭn’səm)
adj. Charming, often in a childlike or naive way.
[Middle English winsum, from Old English wynsum : from wynn, joy; see wen-1 + -sum, characterized by; see -SOME(Cf. ↑-some)1.]
win’some·ly adv. win’some·ness n.
Word History: The win- in winsome comes from the Indo-European root *wen-, meaning "to desire, strive for," and has a number of descendants in the Germanic languages. One was the prehistoric Germanic noun *wini- meaning "friend" (literally, "one who desires or loves" someone else), which became wine in Old English and is preserved in such names as Winfred, "friend of peace," and Edwin, "friend of (family) possessions." A different form of the root with a different suffix became Old English wynn, "pleasure, joy," preserved in winsome. Finally, the verb win itself is from this root; its meaning is an extension of the sense "to strive for," namely, "to strive for with success, be victorious." Outside of the Germanic branch of Indo-European, we see the root, for example, in Latin venus or Venus "love, the goddess of love," and the verb venerāre, "to worship," the source of English venerate.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Winsomeness — Win some*ness, n. The characteristic of being winsome; attractiveness of manner. J. R. Green. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • winsomeness — winsome ► ADJECTIVE ▪ attractive or appealing. DERIVATIVES winsomely adverb winsomeness noun. ORIGIN from an Old English word meaning «joy» …   English terms dictionary

  • winsomeness — noun see winsome …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • winsomeness — See winsomely. * * * …   Universalium

  • winsomeness — noun The quality of being winsome …   Wiktionary

  • winsomeness — n. charm, pleasing character, quality of being winsome …   English contemporary dictionary

  • winsomeness — win·some·ness …   English syllables

  • winsomeness — noun childlike charm or appeal • Derivationally related forms: ↑winsome • Hypernyms: ↑appeal, ↑appealingness, ↑charm …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pleasurableness — (Roget s Thesaurus) >Capability of giving pleasure PARAG:Pleasurableness >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 pleasurableness pleasurableness pleasantness agreeableness &c. >Adj. Sgm: N 1 pleasure giving pleasure giving jucundity delectability Sgm: N 1… …   English dictionary for students

  • winsome — adjective Etymology: Middle English winsum, from Old English wynsum, from wynn joy; akin to Old High German wunna joy, Latin venus desire more at win Date: before 12th century 1. generally pleasing and engaging often because of a childlike charm… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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