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 (pwĭs′əns, pyo͞o′ĭ-səns, pyo͞o-ĭs′əns)
Power; might.

[Middle English, from Old French, from poissant, powerful, present participle of pooir, to be able; see power.]

puis′sant adj.
puis′sant·ly adv.


(ˈpjuːɪsəns; ˈpwiːsɑːns) or


1. (Horse Training, Riding & Manège) a competition in showjumping that tests a horse's ability to jump a limited number of large obstacles
2. archaic or poetic power
[C15: from Old French; see puissant]


(ˈpyu ə səns, pyuˈɪs əns, ˈpwɪs əns)

power; might.
[1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French, =puiss(ant) powerful (< Vulgar Latin *possent- (s. of *possēns), for Latin potent- (s. of potēns), present participle of posse to be able; see potent1, -ant) + -ance -ance]
pu′is•sant, adj.
pu′is•sant•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.puissance - power to influence or coerce; "the puissance of the labor vote"
power, powerfulness - possession of controlling influence; "the deterrent power of nuclear weapons"; "the power of his love saved her"; "his powerfulness was concealed by a gentle facade"


1. Capacity or power for work or vigorous activity:
2. The state or quality of being physically strong:
References in periodicals archive ?
From his classical sources he concluded that ancient Britain was governed much as Renaissance Italy or Germany, where there were many petty "kings" at once, and where these "kings" were merely those "which were of moste puissaunce, as Cassivellaunus, who for that same cause was called king" (60-1).
This battail maie be a mirror and glasse to al Christian princes to beholde and folowe, for kyng Henry nether trusted in the puissaunce of his people, nor in the fortitude of his champions, nor in the strength of his barded horsses, nor yet in his owne pollicy, but he putte in God (whiche is the corner stone and immouable rocke) his whole confidence hope & trust.