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 plural the 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 But both seemed to hint at the possibility that his return could be on the horizon. Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2021 There had been speculation the double-murder could be connected to the strangulation death of Gabby Petito, but authorities have ruled out that possibility. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, 13 Oct. 2021 No department has reported large-scale departures over mandates, but unions have hinted at that possibility. New York Times, 12 Oct. 2021 But Irving was still staring at the possibility of being a part-time NBA player, missing every home game and rejoining his team for road games, until Tuesday’s decision from Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks. Ben Cohen, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 In short, the story, after gesturing vaguely at the possibility that Chuntao was unfair in her initial judgments, corroborates those judgments with relish. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2021 Fans of the dystopian series' insight on South Korea's inherent class issues will be happy to hear that Hwang recently hinted at a possibility of a return for Gi-hun and a few other key characters. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 9 Oct. 2021 Mapps said the opportunity to radically reimagine City Hall would be a crucial step in curbing many of the crises that have consumed Portland — and that the sooner the broader public takes an interest in that possibility the better. oregonlive, 6 Oct. 2021 In January of 1986, when engineers urged NASA leaders to delay the launch of Challenger, warning that the season’s unusually cold temperatures could lead to catastrophe for the space shuttle, officials scoffed, annoyed at the possibility of a delay. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 1 Oct. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Possibility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possibility. Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for possibility



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 : potential


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on possibility

Nglish: Translation of possibility for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of possibility for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about possibility


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