potential energy

noun

: the energy that a piece of matter has because of its position or nature or because of the arrangement of parts

Examples of potential energy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One option is a regular council meeting of ministers—akin to the U.S. National Security Council—that would decide on immediate responses to potential energy shortages. Niclas Poitiers, Foreign Affairs, 27 Feb. 2022 Yet, a wristwatch is full of potential energy thanks to the constant motion of the wearer, no matter how subtle—even a simple hand gesture during conversation. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 18 Mar. 2024 This is because the energy barrier abruptly goes from low potential energy at the base of the well to very high potential energy either side. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Jan. 2024 Because of warmer waters, wind intensity potential is greater due to physical processes that convert potential energy in the ocean to wind energy within the storm. Marshall Shepherd, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for potential energy 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'potential energy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of potential energy was in 1853

Dictionary Entries Near potential energy

Cite this Entry

“Potential energy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potential%20energy. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

potential energy

noun
: the amount of energy a thing (as a weight raised to a height or a coiled spring) has because of its position or because of the arrangement of its parts

Medical Definition

potential energy

noun
: the energy that a piece of matter has because of its position or because of the arrangement of parts

More from Merriam-Webster on potential energy

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