puis·​sance ˈpwi-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce puissance (audio)
pyü-ˈi-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce puissance (audio)

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 reboot arrives at the peak of reggaeton’s pop puissance, and rightfully incorporates a lot more of the genre and its offshoots — Latin trap included. Washington Post, 26 Nov. 2021 Which of you has the puissance to short-term deep-six me? Henry Alford, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2021 The doctrine’s puissance lies in the separation of powers. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 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, 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, 29 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'puissance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near puissance

Cite this Entry

“Puissance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puissance. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

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