potential energy


Definition of potential energy

: 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 But, in that moment, there was this potential energy for unity, for community. Risa Sarachan, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Supporters say the increase in gas prices only underscores the need to transition from fossil fuels but even some backers fear higher prices and potential energy shortages could lead to a consumer backlash. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Oct. 2021 As a result, winter is coming, and potential energy disaster is coming with it. David Blackmon, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2021 Amazon notes that potential energy savings will help customers meet sustainability goals. Gear Team, Wired, 28 Sep. 2021 Both possess the same mass and potential energy, but basic intuition suggests that large numbers of foam balls will not cause the same damage to you as one piano. Scientific American, 13 Oct. 2021 The vast potential energy of the ocean and the prospect of diminishing up-front costs appeals to investors with longer-term timelines. Phil Rosen, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2021 As a result, the block gains gravitational potential energy. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 5 May 2021 Takeoff: The potential energy in the bent pole is transferred back to the athlete’s body as kinetic energy. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 25 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'potential energy.' 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 potential energy

1853, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for potential energy

Time Traveler

The first known use of potential energy was in 1853

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Dictionary Entries Near potential energy

potential divider

potential energy

potential gradient

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Statistics for potential energy

Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Potential energy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potential%20energy. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for potential energy

potential energy


English Language Learners Definition of potential energy

: the energy that something has because of its position or the way its parts are arranged

potential energy


Medical Definition of potential energy

: 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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about potential energy


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