puissant was our Word of the Day on 10/07/2008. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of puissant in a Sentence
one of the nation's most respected and puissant advocates for the rights of minorities
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.
First Known Use of puissant
Synonymsheavy, heavy-duty, influential, mighty, potent, powerful, important, significant, strong
Antonymshelpless, impotent, insignificant, little, powerless, unimportant, weak
Related Wordshigh-level, senior, top; able, capable, competent, effective, efficient; authoritarian, autocratic (also autocratical), despotic, dictatorial, magisterial, tyrannical (also tyrannic); celebrated, distinguished, dominant, eminent, famed, famous, great, illustrious, noble, notable, noteworthy, notorious, outstanding, preeminent, prestigious, prominent, renowned; dynamic, energetic, forceful, high-powered, robust, vigorous
Near Antonymsfeeble, flimsy, frail, infirm; anonymous, nameless, obscure, uncelebrated, unknown; incapable, incompetent, ineffective, inept, inexpert, unfit, unqualified, unskilled, unskillful
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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puissant
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