impuissant

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adjective im·puis·sant \(ˌ)im-ˈpwi-sənt, (ˌ)im-ˈpyü-ə-sənt; ˌim-pyü-ˈi-sənt\

Definition of impuissant

impuissant was our Word of the Day on 06/13/2008. Hear the podcast!

Examples of impuissant in a Sentence

  1. claims that such restrictions on military interventions on foreign soil would render the nation an impuissant giant on the world stage

Recent Examples of impuissant from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impuissant'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Both the adjective "impuissant" and the noun "impuissance" came to English from Middle French. They are derived from the prefix in- (meaning "not") and the noun "puissance," which means "power" and is a word in English in its own right. Puissance derives from the verb poer, meaning "to be able or "to be powerful," and is ultimately related to the same Latin roots that gave us words such as "power" and "potent." While both "puissant" and "impuissance" first appeared in English during the 15th century, "impuissant" did not make its first appearance in our language until 1629.

Origin and Etymology of impuissant

French


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