puis·​sance | \ ˈpwi-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce puissance (audio) , ˈpyü-ə-sən(t)s, pyü-ˈi-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce puissance (audio) \

Definition of puissance

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of puissance in a Sentence

the president pledged to put the full puissance of the nation into the war effort
Recent Examples on the Web The doctrine’s puissance lies in the separation of powers. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Plot to Level the Administrative State," 14 Jan. 2020 Over the years, when French leaders have called for a Europe puissance (European power), this has often sounded suspiciously like code for French hegemonic ambitions. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron on Europe’s fragile place in a hostile world," 7 Nov. 2019 There was a time when Jupiter was the king of the gods, and any man who doubted his puissance was ipso facto a barbarian and an ignoramus. John E. Mcintyre, baltimoresun.com, "In a word: puissant," 29 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of puissance

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for puissance

Middle English, from Anglo-French pussance, puissance, from pussant able, powerful, from poer to be able, be powerful — more at power

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about puissance

Time Traveler for puissance

Time Traveler

The first known use of puissance was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for puissance

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Puissance.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puissance. Accessed 26 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on puissance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puissance

Comments on puissance

What made you want to look up puissance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!