Meaning of possible in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpɒsɪbl/

See synonyms for possible

Translate possible into Spanish


  • 1Able to be done or achieved.

    ‘surely it's not possible for a man to live so long?’
    • ‘contact me as soon as possible’
    • ‘I'd like the report this afternoon, if possible’
    • ‘But we have to take this up as soon as possible for reasons I will explain when I hear from you.’
    • ‘Access as soon as possible for NGOs and aid is particularly important.’
    • ‘The practice direction requires all applications to be made as soon as possible and before allocation if possible.’
    • ‘They appealed to the lawmakers to pass the bill as soon as possible for the sake of patients' human rights.’
    • ‘Alternative strategies are possible for every business and help is available from many different sources.’
    • ‘Because it is not practically possible for the party to induct two ministers from a single family.’
    • ‘Is it not possible for us to achieve the same mission by establishing consulates in some of the places?’
    • ‘But within that it is possible for certain responsibilities to be delegated.’
    • ‘Then how is it possible for any manager to extend a loan to someone with no property of their own?’
    • ‘Many people made it possible for us to achieve a great deal of work in a short period of time.’
    • ‘However, it was not possible for the smaller countries of the region to achieve self sufficiency.’
    • ‘We must concentrate on our horse units, and have them all up to speed within a week if possible.’
    • ‘I would wish, if possible, to be able to get to Canberra by lunch time on Monday.’
    • ‘She could come home to herself in a way that had not been possible for her in yoga practice.’
    • ‘Moreover, it is possible for people not only to be disappointed in this area, but seriously harmed.’
    • ‘So as to protect sources, it is not possible for me to be specific as to what material has been sourced in Australia.’
    • ‘‘It is possible for a guy not to be fit on Wednesday but be fit for the weekend,’ he said.’
    • ‘Of course, it's always possible for other people to even the balance.’
    • ‘In this great nation it is always possible for a child to go as far as their talent and vision can take them.’
    • ‘If possible buy from a specialist shop and discuss safety features.’
    feasible, able to be done, practicable, viable, within the bounds of possibility, within the realms of possibility, attainable, achievable, realizable, within reach, workable, manageable
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    1. 1.1attributive Able to be or become; potential.
      ‘he was a possible future customer’
      • ‘The property comes with a range of traditional farm buildings that have possible development potential.’
      • ‘The site also includes a surface car park with possible development potential.’
      • ‘Then a horse dies underneath you, you crash to the ground and in an instant you go from future star to possible paraplegic.’
      • ‘She said she could not say anything about any possible developments at the site.’
      • ‘We felt we had a moral duty not to expose our customers to possible attacks as well.’
      potential, prospective, likely, probable, could-be, would-be, aspiring
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    2. 1.2with superlative Having as much or as little of a specified quality as can be achieved.
      ‘children need the best education possible’
      • ‘the shortest possible route’
      • ‘It provides the best set of features with the highest possible quality in maps.’
      • ‘To take care of those who need the health care and as high a quality as possible.’
      • ‘On the other hand the insurer has to balance the lowest possible cost with the quality of the job.’
      • ‘So you can see that just picking any old ferry route and the cheapest possible crossing may not necessarily be the best plan.’
      • ‘I suggested that we should bundle the kids into the car and go to Berlin in as direct a route as possible.’
      • ‘In order to get the most from the experience we decided to avoid as much of the motorway route as possible.’
      • ‘Well here we just keep things simple, a great quality product at the lowest possible price.’
      • ‘The role of the NHS is to delay death and improve the quality of life as much as is possible.’
      • ‘And I think we need to do everything humanly possible to achieve that goal.’
      • ‘In the worst possible scenario it might even mean the end of his series.’
      • ‘In the Peace Academy they always teach you to be prepared for the worst possible scenario.’
      • ‘So we will need as much information as possible in order to do that.’
      • ‘I tried to make it flow as much as possible under the circumstances.’
      • ‘I'll be at the back, doing whatever I can to ensure the greatest good of the greatest possible number.’
      • ‘It expands opportunities and creates wealth for the greatest possible number of people.’
      • ‘A meeting for all members is being held on Wednesday to build the largest possible turnout in the ballot and to deliver a yes vote.’
    3. 1.3attributive (of a number or score) as high as is achievable in a test, competition, or game.
      ‘the team have taken just three points from a possible twelve’
      • ‘For they will have the freedom to boost their quota of scores to the highest possible tally.’
      • ‘To facilitate pooling, soreness scores were converted to percentages of the maximum possible score.’
      • ‘It has been awarded the highest possible score for its teaching quality.’
      • ‘Ace is the highest possible score and when a player reaches or passes this score the game ends.’
  • 2That may exist or happen, but that is not certain or probable.

    ‘the possible effects of global warming’
    • ‘it is possible that he will have to return to hospital’
    • ‘This does not contradict probable and possible effects, but it hides these words.’
    • ‘The results are then tabulated in a series of checklists or grids to indicate possible or probable health effects.’
    • ‘Moreover, pure public goods do not exist, with the possible exception of national defence.’
    • ‘At least four possible explanations exist for favourable results seen in industry sponsored research.’
    • ‘Several possible explanations exist for this improvement in asthma during and after weight reduction.’
    • ‘Since all actual and possible times exist in the general course of time, this general time must be infinite.’
    • ‘The most that can be said is that a state must notify and consult wherever a possible conflict of interest exists.’
    • ‘Anything less dramatic would not make people think any differently about the possible effects of climate change.’
    • ‘Everytime I think about it I find out more possible side effects to fuel my resistance.’
    • ‘The first was a growing misapprehension regarding the possible effects of a world dominated by a single superpower.’
    • ‘However, concerns are now being raised about possible ripple effects across the country.’
    • ‘Then there's the possible bubble effect if everybody thinking of selling tries to do so before the new law comes into effect.’
    • ‘The possible side effects of these, when used externally on the skin, can include bruising and thinning of the skin.’
    • ‘His widow called for more to be done to warn former millworkers of the possible effects of asbestos.’
    • ‘The European ban on GM was a result of public concern about its possible effects on health and the environment.’
    • ‘Oral contraceptive pills are distributed by health workers without mention of possible side effects.’
    • ‘Comment on the possible positive and negative effects that a change such as this could have.’
    • ‘The possible knock-on effect of this is a new breed of more aggressive and competitive women.’
    • ‘The possible effects of measles are so awful that I didn't want to leave my children open to that.’
    • ‘It also agreed to fund a scientific research programme into the possible health effects.’
    conceivable, plausible, imaginable, thinkable, believable, likely, potential, probable, credible, tenable, odds-on
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  • 1A potential candidate for a job or team.

    ‘I have marked five possibles with an asterisk’
    • ‘A veteran himself at 35 he could prove to be a valuable addition to the club and a possible for the first team squad.’
    • ‘Their striker, who had a knee operation during the summer, missed the probables versus possibles contest at Maine Road last weekend.’
    • ‘The other players who were not in the initial tour squad because of injury problems are still possibles for the trip to Australia.’
    • ‘The general manager said their coach intended calling up all the possibles for the critical Ghana game - including the walking wounded, whose fitness will be assessed on the spot.’
    • ‘Most of the other players on show would be unwilling to move to Stockport, especially given their wage demands, but a couple of young Leicester players are perhaps possibles.’
    • ‘The draw isn't being made until next Sunday anyway, so it is pointless talking about the possibles until we see who we get.’
    • ‘Breathing down the necks of the two frontrunners are a pack of possibles.’
    • ‘I guess that eliminates some of the possibles from the list of unnamed ‘foreign leader’ voices that he's been hearing.’
    • ‘‘All the sprint races at York, Haydock and the Breeders Cup are possibles,’ he said.’
    • ‘Other Malibu possibles include Unbridled Time.’
    applicant, job applicant, job-seeker, prospective employee
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    1. 1.1the possibleThat which is likely or achievable.
      ‘they were living right at the edge of the possible’
      • ‘The first commitment must be to the dialogue process and to achieve the possible.’
      • ‘Managers may be described as being too busy doing the possible to find time to reach for the difficult or impossible.’
      • ‘We have done the possible, can we do better?’
    2. 1.2The highest possible score, especially in a shooting competition.
      ‘Mickey scored the possible’
      • ‘There are possibles, sure, but it will need athletes to perform at a level well above what they have achieved so far this season.’
      • ‘Seven however hopes to combat that by the busiest day of the Games when 34 gold medals will be decided on Saturday, including quite a few possibles for us in rowing and swimming.’


Late Middle English from Old French, or from Latin possibilis, from posse ‘be able’.