Definition of puissance in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpwisəns/


1ˈpwisäns (Puissance) [in singular] A competitive test of a horse’s ability to jump large obstacles in show jumping.
Example sentences
  • This was done in one of the Puissance competitions.
  • Harry, riding XL, and Conor were two of six riders to share second place in Saturday's Puissance.
  • Samsung and Fáilte Ireland, the principal sponsors, are this year joined by Land Rover Ireland which adds its name to the Puissance (high wall) competition.
2 archaic or literary Great power, influence, or prowess.
Example sentences
  • All three sections begin powerfully and carry that puissance - and often it's not a force that we nor the narrator can control - throughout the section.
  • A combination of apparently unlimited electoral puissance and an underlying lack of both intellectual self-confidence and political principle has destabilised him.
  • But their puissance cannot conceal their incurable inferiority.


Late Middle English (sense 2): from Old French, 'power', from puissant 'having power' (see puissant). Sense 1 dates from the 1950s.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pu·is·sance

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