possible, as opposed to actual: the potential uses of nuclear energy.
capable of being or becoming: a potential danger to safety.
Grammar. expressing possibility: the potential subjunctive in Latin; the potential use of can in I can go.
possibility; potentiality: an investment that has little growth potential.
a latent excellence or ability that may or may not be developed.
a potential aspect, mood, construction, case, etc.
a form in the potential.
Electricity. electric potential (def. 1).
Mathematics, Physics. a type of function from which the intensity of a field may be derived, usually by differentiation.
someone or something that is considered a worthwhile possibility: The list of job applications has been narrowed to half a dozen potentials.
- non·po·ten·tial, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use potential in a sentence
One wonders what might have become of Rice, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown had they lived to see their full potential.How Laurence Fishburne Gave Voice To ‘The Autobiography Of Malcolm X’ | Joi-Marie McKenzie | September 17, 2020 | Essence.com
Though not without flaws, the OZ initiative still has extraordinary potential.Opportunity Zones haven’t fully reached their potential, but don’t write them off yet | jakemeth | September 16, 2020 | Fortune
Over the years, I have seen firsthand the immense potential of corporations to nurture economic justice.Why McDonald’s sets the standard for equitable business models | jakemeth | September 16, 2020 | Fortune
Even the potential for such a move is helping to keep the government’s borrowing costs down, investors say.America’s $20 trillion debt is getting cheaper as it grows | McKenna Moore | September 12, 2020 | Fortune
Other potential contenders include Stan Ng and Susan Prescott.Apple’s leadership evolves ahead of a post-Tim Cook era | radmarya | September 12, 2020 | Fortune
The eating disorder field remains divided over the potential efficacy of such measures.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models | Carrie Arnold | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
But, as the people of Irving are now discovering, all of this poking and prodding is not without potential consequences.26 Earthquakes Later, Fracking’s Smoking Gun Is in Texas | James Joiner | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
First, they allow Paul to siphon off attention from whichever potential candidate is making news.
The brokers then scout out potential “crew members” who can earn substantial discounts for working the journey.
Is there any chance the potential 2016 hopeful will stand up to the right and embrace paid sick leave?
Thus, Virginia is well-endowed geographically and has many potential resources for future progress.Hallowed Heritage: The Life of Virginia | Dorothy M. Torpey
Then as a thin cloud of dust billowed up from the fallen rocks, a vision of its war potential burst upon him.Restricted Tool | Malcolm B. Morehart
The crowd parted on either side, silenced and awed by the look of potential purpose in the face of this yesterday's hero.When Valmond Came to Pontiac, Complete | Gilbert Parker
Equilibrium will be established whenever the potential of the system is equal to 0.The Elements of Qualitative Chemical Analysis, vol. 1, parts 1 and 2. | Julius Stieglitz
Only the attorney who wraps the case around his heart can appreciate its vast potential.The Professional Approach | Charles Leonard Harness
British Dictionary definitions for potential
possible but not yet actual
(prenominal) capable of being or becoming but not yet in existence; latent
grammar (of a verb or form of a verb) expressing possibility, as English may and might
latent but unrealized ability or capacity: Jones has great potential as a sales manager
grammar a potential verb or verb form
- potentially, adverb
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