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[pyoo-uh-suh ns, pyoo-is-uh ns, pwis-uh ns] /ˈpyu ə səns, pyuˈɪs əns, ˈpwɪs əns/
noun, Literary.
power, might, or force.
Origin of puissance
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Middle French, equivalent to puiss(ant) puissant + -ance -ance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for puissance
  • It seems that the unadorned lie no longer has its old puissance.
  • Nothing is decided in the four years' contest but the simple matter of military puissance.
  • One can imagine what his puissance might be at the present ghostly stage.
  • Until their puissance they did prove, their manhood and their might.
British Dictionary definitions for puissance


/ˈpjuːɪsəns; ˈpwiːsɑːns/
a competition in showjumping that tests a horse's ability to jump a limited number of large obstacles
(archaic or poetic) power
Word Origin
C15: from Old French; see puissant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for puissance

early 15c., "power, strength, authority," from Old French puissance, poissance "power, might" (12c.), from puissant (see puissant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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