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
This does not mean I am blind to its revolutionary potentials, violent dimensions, or destructive forces.
The potentials given for the gaseous elements represent the potentials of the gases under 760 mm.The Elements of Qualitative Chemical Analysis, vol. 1, parts 1 and 2. | Julius Stieglitz
Such a flow of electricity will take place if by some means the ends of the conductor are maintained at different potentials.The New Gresham Encyclopedia | Various
To use a homely simile—one might compare two human beings to two bodies charged with electricity of different potentials.Married Love | Marie Carmichael Stopes
The potentials placed on the telephone line by the telegraph operations are equal and simultaneous.Cyclopedia of Telephony and Telegraphy, Vol. 2 | Kempster Miller
Let V1 and V2 be the potentials of the plates, and let a charge Q be given to one of them.
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