The core idea of this root was:
This is fairly visible in the English relatives to wish and to win, one being about desire and the other about the result of striving.
We can also see it in the Latin venus, which meant beauty, love, desire, and which is the origin of words like venerable and veneration. And also, believe it or not, venom, which originally referred to… a love potion.
Last but not least, we have the verb to wean, which is about “making accustomed” a which is basically a “soft” form of “make someone desire something”.
This is where the German wohnen is from, which shifted from “place I am used to” to “to love, to inhabit”, while the older sense of weaning is still alive in the word gewöhnen.
Here’s a (incomplete) list of English relatives:
- to wean (“make want”)
- to win (“result of wish and strive”)
- to wish (“desire”)
- Venus (“beauty, desire”)
- venom (“love potion, seduction”)
- -wynn (“desire”, old Germanic rune)