Find the word definition

Crossword clues for puy

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Puy \Pu"y\, n. See Poy.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"conical volcanic hill," especially those in Auvergne, 1858, from French puy, from Latin podium "a height, balcony," literally "support" (see podium).


n. 1 Any of several cone-shaped hills in the Auvergne, France that are the remains of extinct volcanos 2 (context geology English) Any similar conical structure of volcanic material


Puy is a geological term used locally in the Auvergne, France for a volcanic hill. The word derives from the Provençal puech, meaning an isolated hill, coming from Latin podium, which has given also puig in Catalan and poggio in Italian.

Most of the puys of central France are small cinder cones, with or without associated lava, whilst others are domes of trachytic rock, like the domite of the Puy-de-Dôme. The puys may be scattered as isolated hills, or, as is more usual, clustered together, sometimes in lines. The chain of puys in central France probably became extinct in late prehistoric time.

Other volcanic hills more or less like those of Auvergne are also known to geologists as puys; examples may be found in the Eifel and in the small cones on the Bay of Naples, whilst the relics of puys denuded by erosion are numerous in the Swabian Alps of Württemberg, as pointed out by W. Branco. Sir A. Geikie has shown that the puy type of eruption was common in the British area in Carboniferous and Permian times, as abundantly attested in central Scotland by remains of the old volcanoes, now generally reduced by denudation to the mere neck, or volcanic vent, filled with tuff and agglomerate, or plugged with lava.

Puy (society)

A puy or pui was a society, often organised as a guild or confraternity, sometimes along religious ( Catholic) lines, for the patronisation of music and poetry, typically through the holding of competitions. The term puy derives from the Latin podium, meaning "a place to stand", referring probably to a raised platform from which either the contests delivered their works or the judges listened to them. Puys were established in many cities in northern and central France, the Low Countries, and even England during the High Middle Ages and the Renaissance, usually encouraging composition in the Old French language, but also in Latin and Occitan.

The typical puy was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Membership was regulated by statutes to which those entering had to swear. These governed the election of executive positions within the puy and the benefits inhering in members. Members could be clerical or lay, male or female, noble or bourgeois, urban or rural. The earliest societies were organised around para- liturgical celebrations of the Marian feast days, but these evolved poetry competitions and eventually the competitions became the focus of the festivals. Music and sung performance were emphasised early on, but over the centuries the quality of the poetry came to dominate the members' concern and the puys of Normandy, especially popular from the fifteenth century on, were redefined in the seventeenth as literary academies. In this form they survived until the French Revolution.

A poetical society known, in a generic fashion, as the Puy Sainta Maria (Puy-Sainte-Marie), seems to have held contests at Le-Puy-en-Velay (Podium Aniciense) in the Occitan language under the patronage of Alfonso II of Aragon (1162–96). Among the troubadours known to have competed was the Monge de Montaudon, who received a Eurasian sparrowhawk as a prize for one piece. He is said by his vida to have held the "suzerainty" of the "court of Puy" (cour du Puy) until it was dissolved.

The height of the French puys was in the Late Middle Ages. The puy would have an open invitation for competitions in several categories, with the theme, form, and refrain in each category stipulated. Among the common most common forms were the formes fixes, the chant royal, jeu parti, serventois, and ballade. The music was generally strophic monophony, but the puy at Évreux, founded in 1570, did accept two submissions of through-composed polyphony from Orlande de Lassus. The problems of adjudication at the contests spurned the production of several treatises on versification in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. As in the Floral Games celebrated in southern France and Spain, the prizes awarded by the puys could be flowers, such as lilies or roses, or sometimes palms. These floral prizes could be redeemable for money. Besides these, the puys sometimes bestowed signet rings (engraved with imagery or poetry). The puys could attract professionals and men of fame, such as Jean Froissart, who competed and won at Abbeville, Lille, Tournai, and Valenciennes. They also attracted local amateurs.

Usage examples of "puy".

Since the pope had already spent time with Adehemar in Le Puy in August before coming to Clermont, Nicholas was certain they had already discussed the expedition.

And if they saw him at Le Puy, they would know that he had escaped the castle.

If you ride the road toward Le Puy, you will come upon the charred ruins of their caravan.

With that he rode into the darkness toward the muddy road, and coming to the break in the woods, he turned toward Le Puy and would not look back.

For days they journeyed inland from Le Puy toward the Rhine River, and the town of Worms between Mannheim and Mainz.

His first thought was to make his way back to Le Puy and Nicholas, but he could not dismiss from his mind the plot against the Jews.

For he decided he would not return to Le Puy to find Nicholas but would wait for him there.

Nicholas would not even leave Le Puy with the feudal princes until next month.

Many masses were chanted in the little chapel of Puy Verdun, for the soul of my dead cousin, and his coffin filled a niche in the vault of our ancestors.

I knew that many days must needs elapse before he could arrive at Puy Verdun.

Le Puy enjoys my full authority so far as the disposition of the pilgrimage is concerned.

Having wintered in Rome, where he had been joined by the papal legate Adhemar, Bishop of Le Puy, the count had crossed the Adriatic and landed his army at Dyrrachium.

Even though Montrovant held him as easily as before, this transformation from coherent man to slavering beast set du Puy back a pace.

Duc dropped back once more in silence, passing the orders back along the line as Montrovant spurred his mount and sped up the trail, following du Puy and the other scout.

Then du Puy and the others burst in from behind the monks, and chaos claimed the room.