Definition of puissance in English:



  • 1[in singular] A competitive test of a horse's ability to jump large obstacles in show jumping.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Harry, riding XL, and Conor were two of six riders to share second place in Saturday's Puissance.’
    • ‘The programmes have all the action from the four days including the seven-foot wall in the Puissance, the National Grand Prix and the Pairs Relay.’
    • ‘This was done in one of the Puissance competitions.’
    • ‘On Saturday, the highlight will be the Puissance.’
  • 2literary, archaic Great power, influence, or prowess.

    • ‘I believe that this divinity, is a result of a puissance that is present in every particle, the rhythm of creation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Increasingly, celebrities are using their media clout and general popularity to gain political puissance.’
    • ‘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.’
    control, authority, influence, dominance, mastery, domination, rule, command, ascendancy, supremacy, dominion, sovereignty, jurisdiction, sway, weight, leverage, hold, grasp, say
    View synonyms


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