Dictionary

1potential

adjective po·ten·tial \pə-ˈten(t)-shəl\

: capable of becoming real

Full Definition of POTENTIAL

1
:  existing in possibility :  capable of development into actuality <potential benefits>
2
:  expressing possibility; specifically :  of, relating to, or constituting a verb phrase expressing possibility, liberty, or power by the use of an auxiliary with the infinitive of the verb (as in it may rain)
po·ten·tial·ly \-ˈten(t)-sh(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of POTENTIAL

  1. Doctors are excited about the new drug's potential benefits.
  2. Critics say the factory poses a potential threat to the environment.
  3. He is a potential candidate for president.
  4. The project has potential risks.

Origin of POTENTIAL

Middle English potencial, from Late Latin potentialis, from potentia potentiality, from Latin, power, from potent-, potens
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of POTENTIAL

latent, dormant, quiescent, potential mean not now showing signs of activity or existence. latent applies to a power or quality that has not yet come forth but may emerge and develop <a latent desire for success>. dormant suggests the inactivity of something (as a feeling or power) as though sleeping <their passion had lain dormant>. quiescent suggests a usually temporary cessation of activity <the disease was quiescent>. potential applies to what does not yet have existence or effect but is likely soon to have <a potential disaster>.

2potential

noun

: a chance or possibility that something will happen or exist in the future

: a quality that something has that can be developed to make it better

: an ability that someone has that can be developed to help that person become successful

Full Definition of POTENTIAL

1
a :  something that can develop or become actual <a potential for violence>
b :  promise 2
2
a :  any of various functions from which the intensity or the velocity at any point in a field may be readily calculated
b :  the work required to move a unit positive charge from a reference point (as at infinity) to a point in question
c :  potential difference

Examples of POTENTIAL

  1. Scientists are exploring the potentials of the new drug.
  2. The new technology has the potential to transform the industry.
  3. There is potential in the new technology, but it will be a long time before it can actually be used.
  4. The company has a lot of potential for future growth.
  5. He has the potential to be one of the team's best players.
  6. He shows enormous potential as an athlete.

First Known Use of POTENTIAL

1817

Rhymes with POTENTIAL

POTENTIALLY Defined for Kids

1potential

adjective po·ten·tial \pə-ˈten-shəl\

Definition of POTENTIAL for Kids

:  existing as a possibility :  capable of becoming real <potential dangers>
po·ten·tial·ly adverb <a potentially profitable business>

2potential

noun

Definition of POTENTIAL for Kids

1
:  the chance or possibility that something will develop and become real <There is a potential for injury.>
2
:  an ability or quality that can lead to success or excellence :  promise <She has great potential as a musician.>

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