Dictionary.com

potential

[ puh-ten-shuhl ]
/ pəˈtɛn ʃəl /
Save This Word!

Definition of potential

adjective
noun
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of potential

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English potencial (from Old French ), from Late Latin potentiālis. See potency, -al1

synonym study for potential

2. See latent.

OTHER WORDS FROM potential

non·po·ten·tial, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use potential in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for potential

potential
/ (pəˈtɛnʃəl) /

adjective
  1. possible but not yet actual
  2. (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
an archaic word for potent 1
noun
latent but unrealized ability or capacityJones has great potential as a sales manager
grammar a potential verb or verb form

Derived forms of potential

potentially, adverb

Word Origin for potential

C14: from Old French potencial, from Late Latin potentiālis, from Latin potentia power
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

Medical definitions for potential

potential
[ pə-tĕnshəl ]

adj.
Capable of being but not yet in existence; latent.
n.
The inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being.
The work required to bring a unit electric charge, magnetic pole, or mass from an infinitely distant position to a designated point in a static electric, magnetic, or gravitational field, respectively.
The potential energy of a unit charge at any point in an electric circuit measured with respect to a specified reference point in the circuit or to ground; voltage.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
FEEDBACK