puissance [ˈpyuəsəns] n.
1.) Power, strength, force, might; influence.
2.) The persons in whom power is vested.
3.) In show-jumping, a competition testing a horse's ability to jump large obstacles (Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Edition).
Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from poissant, powerful, present participle of pooir, to be able.
"We know no time when we were not as now,
Know none before us, self-begot, self-raised
By our own quick'ning power when fatal course
Had circled his full orb, the birth mature
Of this our native Heav'n, ethereal sons.
Our puissance is our own."
(Paradise Lost, John Milton, 1667)
(The Fall of Lucifer, Edward Burne-Jones, 1894)