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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web That unpleasant possibility is now closer to reality, with no thanks given to commissioner Rob Manfred. Tim Dahlberg, Star Tribune, "Column: Cheaters do prosper, at least in baseball," 10 Oct. 2020 One other possibility next year is a retirement, especially if Biden wins and Democrats retake the Senate. Mark Sherman And Jessica Gresko, chicagotribune.com, "Facing a conservative turn, Supreme Court opens new term with a remembrance of ‘a dear friend and a treasured colleague’," 5 Oct. 2020 One possibility is that the PCs received a fake UEFI update from a remote source, but there are no signs of that happening in the Kaspersky AV logs. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Custom-made UEFI bootkit found lurking in the wild," 5 Oct. 2020 To a female this possibility was obvious, but the guys running the study never seem to have considered it. Sam Kean, WSJ, "‘Phallacy: Life Lessons From the Animal Penis’ Review: Genitalia Tales," 2 Oct. 2020 The possibility of national regulations is already underway. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "California Just Became The First State To Ban 24 Toxic Ingredients In Cosmetics," 1 Oct. 2020 But backers of Prop. 20, which would require the inmates to serve their full sentences without parole eligibility, say even the possibility of early release is dangerous to the public. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "California Prop. 20 would up punishments for a variety of crimes, restrict parole," 1 Oct. 2020 Despite all the unanswered questions, the possibility that astrocytes play a role in sleep regulation is an exciting discovery that sets the stage for a whole new era of sleep research. Rachael Zisk, Popular Science, "Why do brains need sleep? These ‘twinkling’ star-shaped cells may help us find out," 29 Sep. 2020 Another, more legally perilous possibility is that the fees were a way to transfer assets to his children without incurring a gift tax. Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig And Mike Mcintire, New York Times, "Long-Concealed Records Show Trump’s Chronic Losses and Years of Tax Avoidance," 27 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.

See More

First Known Use of possibility

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about possibility

Time Traveler for possibility

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for possibility

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Possibility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possibility. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on possibility

What made you want to look up possibility? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!