puis·​sant | \ ˈpwi-sᵊnt How to pronounce puissant (audio) , ˈpyü-ə-sənt, pyü-ˈi-sᵊnt \

Definition of puissant

: having puissance : powerful

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Did You Know?

Puissant has some powerful ties to some more commonplace English words. Although "puissant" has a considerably fancier feel than "power" and "potent," all three words share the same Latin ancestor: posse, a verb meaning "to be able." "Power" came to us by way of Anglo-French poer, which is itself thought to have come from "potēre," a Vulgar Latin alteration of "posse." "Potent" came from "potent-, potens," a present participle of "posse." From "poer" came the adjective pussant, meaning "able" or "powerful" in Anglo-French, and English speakers borrowed that to form "puissant" in the 15th century.

Examples of puissant in a Sentence

one of the nation's most respected and puissant advocates for the rights of minorities

First Known Use of puissant

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Cite this Entry

“Puissant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puissant. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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