po·​ten·​tial·​ly pə-ˈten(t)-sh(ə-)lē How to pronounce potentially (audio)
: in a potential or possible state or condition
used to describe the possible results or effects of something
a potentially dangerous situation [=a situation that has the potential to be or become dangerous]
a potentially useful feature
By creating a personal home page, anyone can publish material that potentially can be read by millions of people worldwide.Peter H. Lewis
The phenomenon seemed significant for both the science of immunology and, potentially, for medicine.Daniel J. Kevles
Potentially adding to the cost of the bail-out is the prevailing FDIC notion that some banks are simply too big to fail.L. J. Davis
The result, they say, is that children are less compelled to play outside, potentially stunting emotional and physical development and exacerbating a nationwide epidemic of childhood obesity.Sumathi Reddy

Examples of potentially in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As this case illustrates, cutting corners on repairing and replacing safety features such as balconies and railings could potentially lead to tragic accidents with disastrous ramifications. Jacob Leuze, Miami Herald, 18 May 2024 All of the most promising approaches pioneered in the past three and a half decades have ultimately failed, and only a few months ago, the last trial expected to potentially deliver a vaccine within this decade was shut down. Annalisa Merelli and Jonathan Wosen, STAT, 17 May 2024 Those elements currently are coming together in a big way, changing — or potentially changing — the San Diego coast. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2024 With Jung Hoo Lee potentially out for months and Michael Conforto dealing with his own ailment, Matos, 22, and Ramos, 24, will be the team’s starting center and left fielders, respectively. Justice Delos Santos, The Mercury News, 17 May 2024 The Pentagon is separately working to launch a new generation of military satellites that can maneuver, be refueled while in space or have robotic arms that could reach out and grab — and potentially disrupt — an enemy satellite. Eric Lipton, New York Times, 17 May 2024 However, the greatest fun comes from watching these people try to navigate potentially awkward romantic situations in heavy prosthetics. Declan Gallagher, EW.com, 17 May 2024 Advertisement The Santa Cruz strike would be the first of potentially several work stoppages that the union intends to launch one by one across campuses based on how receptive administrations are to pro-Palestinian activists’ demands. Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2024 He’s accused, meanwhile, of potentially driving women away from the NFL and, even worse, perhaps offending Taylor Swift by quoting one of her lyrics. Rich Lowry, National Review, 17 May 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'potentially.' 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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of potentially was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near potentially

Cite this Entry

“Potentially.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potentially. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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