po·​ten·​ti·​al·​i·​ty | \ pə-ˌten(t)-shē-ˈa-lə-tē How to pronounce potentiality (audio) \
plural potentialities

Definition of potentiality

1 : the ability to develop or come into existence

Examples of potentiality in a Sentence

would like to see a colony on the moon as an actuality and not merely a potentiality
Recent Examples on the Web What looks like emptiness is actually potentiality. Max Norman, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 This legislation established the federal drug classification schedule, which categorized certain drugs within five total groups based on their medical use and potentiality for abuse. David Cannady, sun-sentinel.com, 23 Sep. 2021 Possibly, but entwined with this theme of curiosity is the potentiality that these tales are begging readers to also consider the importance of obedience and trust. Sarah Schutte, National Review, 12 Sep. 2021 Despite watching Cunningham’s performance in the final minutes, Boynton stopped short of likening Cunningham to Mariano Rivera when asked about that potentiality postgame. Jordan Guskey, The Indianapolis Star, 20 Mar. 2021 Historically Black Colleges and Universities are both incubators and accelerators of their students’ talent, intelligence and potentiality in a daily immersion in their heritage and investment in their future. Janelle Harris Dixon, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Feb. 2021 The cartoon landscape is a model of the marvelous that’s an alibi for something much more malign: a world where infinite potentiality is experienced as terror. Adam Thirlwell, The New York Review of Books, 3 Aug. 2020 There was no discussion of what use, if any, to make of my new potentiality. Joseph O’neill, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2019 That first potentiality doesn’t look like a problem. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 19 Mar. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of potentiality

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of potentiality was in 1625

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Dictionary Entries Near potentiality

potential head



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Cite this Entry

“Potentiality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potentiality. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on potentiality

Britannica English: Translation of potentiality for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about potentiality


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