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[pyoo-uh-suh nt, pyoo-is-uh nt, pwis-uh nt] /ˈpyu ə sənt, pyuˈɪs ənt, ˈpwɪs ənt/
adjective, Literary.
powerful; mighty; potent.
Origin of puissant
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Middle French < Vulgar Latin *possent- (stem of *possēns), for Latin potent- (stem of potēns), present participle of posse to be able, have power; see potent1, -ant
Related forms
puissantly, adverb
overpuissant, adjective
overpuissantly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for puissant


(archaic or poetic) powerful
Derived Forms
puissantly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Old French, ultimately from Latin potēns mighty, from posse to have power
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 puissant

mid-15c., from Middle French puissant "strong, mighty, powerful," earlier poissant (12c.), from stem of Old French poeir "to be able" (see power (n.)). Related: Puissantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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