pos·​si·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌpä-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce possibility (audio) \
plural possibilities

Definition of possibility

1 : the condition or fact of being possible
2 archaic : one's utmost power, capacity, or ability
3 : something that is possible
4 : potential or prospective value usually used in pluralthe house had great possibilities

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Examples of possibility in a Sentence

There is a strong possibility that I will not be chosen for the job. Have you considered the possibility that you may be wrong? My first two ideas didn't work, but I thought of a third possibility. The future holds untold possibilities. His degree and job experience give him a wide range of possibilities for a career. a man of undetermined possibilities The old house might not look like much now, but it has possibilities.
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Recent Examples on the Web That's because of the possibility that ByteDance, TikTok's owner, may still reach an agreement to sell off its U.S. operations. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Here’s Why You Might Not Be Able to Download TikTok After This Weekend," 18 Sep. 2020 But insofar as recent arrivals do skew Democratic, Republicans should consider the possibility that their party’s anti-immigrant wing is alienating a large swathe of voters in an otherwise sympathetic demographic. Nate Hochman, National Review, "The Rise of the Latino Republican," 18 Sep. 2020 The possibility of providing doses to even a fraction of China’s 1.4 billion people would boost critical mass, enhancing the alliance’s negotiating power. Bloomberg.com, "China to Make Decision on WHO Vaccine Program Snubbed by Trump," 17 Sep. 2020 However, Pritzker slammed the door on the possibility that Illinois' high school athletes might join their college counterparts, saying football and other contact sports are still too risky in the midst of the pandemic. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area," 17 Sep. 2020 Daily testing, as long as it’s properly done, greatly lessens that risk, that possibility. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Let the Utes play. Let the Pac-12 play. Discretion has bettered valor.," 16 Sep. 2020 The possibility that a 10-year development cycle has been sheared to just one year presents unprecedented opportunities. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Secretly Designed, Built, and Flew a Brand-New Fighter Jet," 16 Sep. 2020 Even billionaires who are fond of speculating about runaway AI can sometimes seem indifferent to the possibility that the internet might zombify the entire human race. Meghan O'gieblyn, Wired, "Is the Internet Conscious? If It Were, How Would We Know?," 16 Sep. 2020 So, the possibility for increasing capacity while maintaining social distancing does exist. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "World Series to be played at Rangers' Globe Life Field as part of MLB’s modified bubble plan," 15 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'possibility.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of possibility

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for possibility

Time Traveler

The first known use of possibility was in the 14th century

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Statistics for possibility

Last Updated

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Possibility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possibility. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for possibility


How to pronounce possibility (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of possibility

: a chance that something might exist, happen, or be true : the state or fact of being possible
: something that might be done or might happen : something that is possible
: abilities or qualities that could make someone or something better in the future


pos·​si·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌpä-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce possibility (audio) \
plural possibilities

Kids Definition of possibility

1 : a chance that something may or may not happen or exist : the state or fact of being possible There's a possibility of rain today.
2 : something that may happen or exist Life on other planets is a possibility.

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