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puissant

Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.

puissant

Postby Klimt » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:28 am

[pyoo-uh-suh nt, pyoo-is-uh nt, pwis-uh nt]

powerful; mighty; potent.

The emperor concluded me to be drowned, and that the enemy's fleet was approaching in a hostile manner: but he was soon eased of his fears; for the channel growing shallower every step I made, I came in a short time within hearing, and holding up the end of the cable, by which the fleet was fastened, I cried in a loud voice, "Long live the most puissant king of Lilliput...

One, day about noon, happening to be at the Ti, I had lain down on the mats with several of the chiefs, and had gradually sunk into a most luxurious siesta, when I was awakened by a tremendous outcry, and starting up beheld the natives seizing their spears and hurrying out, while the most puissant of the chiefs, grasping the six muskets which were ranged against the bamboos, followed after, and soon disappeared in the groves.

She that in her palmy days commanded the commerce of a hemisphere and made the weal or woe of nations with a beck of her puissant finger, is become the humblest among the peoples of the earth,-- a peddler of glass beads for women, and trifling toys and trinkets for school-girls and children.

Thus grows up Fashion, an equivocal semblance, the most puissant, the most fantastic and frivolous, the most feared and followed, and which morals and violence assault in vain.
Whoever wants to know something about me - as an artist which alone is significant - they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognise what I am and what I want.
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Postby Slava » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:11 pm

I wonder if this one has any relation to a certain word with a more or less opposite meaning. I have in mind here the one that's spelled with all the same letters in the same order, but dropping the "u."

Or can I really write anger ant?

No, I see that the slangy "urine" part of the word is automatically altered by the dirty words filter. That was a fun experiment. I'm flushed with excitement.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Postby MTC » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:47 pm

First of all, the word you are struggling so mightily to avoid stating expressly for fear of offending delicate sensibilities is "pissant" which according to Merriam-Webster.com is a "sometimes vulgar... generalized term of abuse (for) ... one that is insignificant." I hope no one fainted...

Now that we have got that out of the way, puissant has an an even rarer antonym, "impuissant" which means just what you would expect. The impuissant vastly outnumber the puissant in this world. Many of the impuissant spend a great deal of time trying to become puissant themselves.

Example, again from Merriam-Webster:

<claims that such restrictions on military interventions on foreign soil would render the nation an impuissant giant on the world stage>
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