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possible

[pos-uh-buh l]
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adjective
  1. that may or can be, exist, happen, be done, be used, etc.: a disease with no possible cure.
  2. that may be true or may be the case, as something concerning which one has no knowledge to the contrary: It is possible that he has already gone.
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Origin of possible

1300–50; Middle English < Latin possibilis that may be done, equivalent to poss(e) to be able (see posse) + -ibilis -ible
Related formsnon·pos·si·ble, adjective
Can be confusedpossible practicable practical (see synonym study at the current entry) (see synonym study at practical)

Synonym study

1. Possible, feasible, practicable refer to that which may come about or take place without prevention by serious obstacles. That which is possible is naturally able or even likely to happen, other circumstances being equal: Discovery of a new source of plutonium may be possible. Feasible refers to the ease with which something can be done and implies a high degree of desirability for doing it: This plan is the most feasible. Practicable applies to that which can be done with the means that are at hand and with conditions as they are: We ascended the slope as far as was practicable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for possible

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • My hope is weak that I shall ever again see you, yet it is possible.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He resolved to be as prudent as possible, and avoid, as far as he could, any altercation with Haley.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The present, so, was more than any possible future, how dire soever it might be.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Ladies should have with them as much jewelry as possible, borrowed or otherwise.

  • He was as kind and obliging as it was possible to be in his circumstances.


British Dictionary definitions for possible

possible

adjective
  1. capable of existing, taking place, or proving true without contravention of any natural law
  2. capable of being achievedit is not possible to finish in three weeks
  3. having potential or capabilities for favourable use or developmentthe idea is a possible money-spinner
  4. that may or may not happen or have happened; feasible but less than probableit is possible that man will live on Mars
  5. logic (of a statement, formula, etc) capable of being true under some interpretation, or in some circumstances. Usual symbol: Mp or ◇ p, where p is the given expression
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noun
  1. another word for possibility (def. 3)
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Word Origin

C14: from Latin possibilis that may be, from posse to be able, have power

usage

Although it is very common to talk about something being very possible or more possible, these uses are generally thought to be incorrect, since possible describes an absolute state, and therefore something can only be possible or not possible: it is very likely (not very possible) that he will resign; it has now become easier (not more possible) to obtain an entry visa
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for possible

adj.

mid-14c., from Old French possible and directly from Latin possibilis "that can be done," from posse "be able" (see potent).

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n.

1640s, from possible (adj.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with possible

possible

see as far as possible; as soon as possible.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.