One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1in singular A competitive test of a horse's ability to jump large obstacles in show jumping.
- ‘Harry, riding XL, and Conor were two of six riders to share second place in Saturday's Puissance.’
- ‘On Saturday, the highlight will be the 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.’
- ‘This was done in one of the Puissance competitions.’
- ‘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.’
2literary, archaic Great power, influence, or prowess.
control, authority, influence, dominance, mastery, domination, rule, command, ascendancy, supremacy, dominion, sovereignty, jurisdiction, sway, weight, leverage, hold, grasp, sayView synonyms
- ‘But their puissance cannot conceal their incurable inferiority.’
- ‘I believe that this divinity, is a result of a puissance that is present in every particle, the rhythm of creation.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘A combination of apparently unlimited electoral puissance and an underlying lack of both intellectual self-confidence and political principle has destabilised him.’
Late Middle English (in puissance (sense 2)): from Old French, ‘power’, from puissant ‘having power’ (see puissant). Sense 1 dates from the 1950s.
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