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puissant

[pyoo-uh-suh nt, pyoo-is-uh nt, pwis-uh nt]
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adjective Literary.
  1. powerful; mighty; potent.

Origin of puissant

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 formspu·is·sant·ly, adverbo·ver·pu·is·sant, adjectiveo·ver·pu·is·sant·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for puissant

Historical Examples

  • Perhaps the wise and puissant of the future were to germinate there.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • She was the wife of the puissant Secretary of State, the mistress of the King.

  • We came at night, just as now, upon this castle of its most noble and puissant lord.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

  • Not the least common or puissant of these was the healing of the sick.

  • The most puissant pen is powerless, the brightest colour too cold.

    The War Trail

    Mayne Reid


British Dictionary definitions for puissant

puissant

adjective
  1. archaic, or poetic powerful
Derived Formspuissantly, 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

Word Origin and History for puissant

adj.

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