Definition of potential in English:

potential

Pronunciation /pəˈten(t)SHəl/ /pəˈtɛn(t)ʃəl/

adjective

attributive
  • Having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.

    ‘a two-pronged campaign to woo potential customers’
    • ‘In particular, it claims the cost of the service is likely to turn-off potential customers.’
    • ‘Links are also being developed with potential partners in New York, Dubai and Helsinki.’
    • ‘Instead the study was just a process to find out the potential capacity for new homes.’
    • ‘Additionally, rarely will a new potential customer buy on the first visit.’
    • ‘New or potential customers may be located around the globe or in your local area.’
    • ‘Many supermarkets now provide free buses to carry potential customers into their premises.’
    • ‘This fusion of unfamiliar conditions would normally make the hosts among the potential winners.’
    • ‘The history of the 1869 work is thought to have boosted its value among potential bidders.’
    • ‘A woman who has fallen on hard times finds a potential saviour among the gravestones.’
    • ‘Visitors to the city's boat show would also be among the potential guests targeted.’
    • ‘There are many potential abuses that future governments may make of the information contained on a card.’
    • ‘Hunt said he was worried about the development because of the potential fire threat.’
    • ‘A prospectus for potential sponsors raises the prospect of boarding academies.’
    • ‘They can be seen as potential development land by philistines who only see land as money waiting to happen.’
    • ‘She admitted that potential savings were probably not top of the list, however.’
    • ‘For potential investors, the prospect of enjoying cheap beer is far more appealing.’
    • ‘Why is the government so timid about embryo research given the potential rewards?’
    • ‘It's a version of last year's winning car, but perhaps near the end of its potential development.’
    • ‘It is expressed in the present tense, and refers to current use, not past or future or potential use.’
    • ‘The range of potential targets for future intervention will grow correspondingly.’
    possible, likely, prospective, future, probable, budding, in the making
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1Latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.

    ‘a young broadcaster with great potential’
    ‘the potentials of the technology were never wholly controllable’
    • ‘Following on from this, I think this story has excellent potential if developed cleverly.’
    • ‘He was talented and hard-working and had such potential for success in life.’
    • ‘The merit acquired from this gift is used to trigger the forces of latent positive potential in oneself or others.’
    • ‘Any time that a hospital doctor devotes to computing does not lead to increased income potential.’
    • ‘It is a compliment to his ability and obvious potential that his name has been so widely mentioned.’
    • ‘Few tracks offer a most searching examination of a thoroughbred's ability, and potential.’
    • ‘In the modern game, too often managers are chosen on potential rather than proven ability.’
    • ‘It is for the society at large to harness the latent potential in the children and benefit out of that.’
    • ‘You could say that we can compare our capabilities and potential to that of an iceberg!’
    • ‘The first drew on evidence that selection led to a huge waste of national potential.’
    • ‘Its success potential will rest heavily on how strictly its license terms are defined.’
    • ‘Often the biggest barrier for women is a lack of confidence in their own skills and potential.’
    • ‘If this facility is not used to its potential, the future of the Club could be in jeopardy.’
    • ‘It is a tragedy in this case because the life lost was one with such future potential.’
    • ‘The only real way to compare potential is to give everyone the same chance to shine.’
    • ‘This will allow them to develop individual academic and sporting talent to full potential.’
    • ‘Unfulfilled potential is about as useful as a canal with no water in it.’
    • ‘He is a talented player, but has yet to develop his potential and prove his staying power.’
    • ‘We also see tremendous potential in developing our client base in Harrogate and surrounding areas.’
    • ‘We have vast untapped potential in hydro power and in natural gas from the Arctic.’
    possibilities, potentiality, prospects
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1often potential for/to do somethingThe possibility of something happening or of someone doing something in the future.
      ‘pesticides with the potential to cause cancer’
      ‘the crane operator's clear view reduces the potential for accidents’
      • ‘They were of course unaware of the latent potential for economic growth just around the corner.’
      • ‘It has experienced strong growth in the past three years and has good potential for future growth.’
      • ‘More to the point still, is this potential to anger particularly strong in the media?’
      • ‘Modern medicine raises the stakes as its power to do good is accompanied by increasing potential for harm.’
      • ‘The potential for future conflicts is horrific, and will remain so while capitalism survives.’
      • ‘The trials in February are to identify those riders who have potential to compete in the Paralympics.’
      • ‘He also said the county had huge potential to develop and expand in rural areas.’
      • ‘The site had previously been listed in the town's Local Plan as having potential for development.’
      • ‘There is a ruined former railway cottage on the property with potential for further development.’
      • ‘It will spend the next few years developing the area's potential for exploration.’
      • ‘They have potential for greatness, but they need to let go, let it happen.’
      • ‘Inevitably the campaigners have now turned their sights to potential for suing drinks companies.’
      • ‘It was as a viable project with potential for economic regeneration and ecological improvements.’
      • ‘Rural pubs have great potential to assume a business and community role.’
      • ‘There is so much potential for this to be one of Bradford's most attractive shopping thoroughfares.’
      • ‘It struck them both there was potential to offer a service commercially.’
      • ‘While I am in favor of this technology, it possesses a hell of a lot of potential for abuse.’
  • 2Physics
    The quantity determining the energy of mass in a gravitational field or of charge in an electric field.

    ‘a change in gravitational potential’
    count noun ‘measurements of induced electrical potentials’
    • ‘The normal conduction of action potentials is reliant upon sodium channels.’
    • ‘Electrical action potentials, osmotic perturbations or chemical signals may trigger these waves.’
    • ‘Various measurable bits in the universe have vastly different potentials to have a causal impact.’
    • ‘A problem with evoked potentials is that their amplitude is exceedingly small.’
    • ‘This is well established by studies on electro-osmosis and streaming potentials.’

Origin

Late Middle English from late Latin potentialis, from potentia ‘power’, from potent- ‘being able’ (see potent). The noun dates from the early 19th century.

Pronunciation

potential

/pəˈten(t)SHəl/ /pəˈtɛn(t)ʃəl/