potential[pō ten′s̸həl, pə-]
- The definition of potential is having the power or being capable of happening.
An example of potential is dinner plans that are not yet definite.
- Potential is defined as the possibility of becoming something.
An example of potential is the highest grades of which a particular student is capable.
- that has power; potent
- that can, but has not yet, come into being; possible; latent; unrealized; undeveloped
- Gram. expressing possibility, capability, power, etc.: the potential mood
Origin of potentialMiddle English potenciall ; from Medieval Latin potentialis ; from Classical Latin potentia: see potent
- something potential; a potentiality
- Elec. the difference in voltage between two points in an electric circuit or field
- the potential mood or aspect
- a construction or form in this mood or aspect
- Physics a function whose mathematical derivative is a physical field, as a force or an electric or magnetic field
- Capable of being but not yet in existence; latent or undeveloped: a potential problem; a substance with many potential uses.
- Grammar Of, relating to, or being a verbal construction with auxiliaries such as may or can; for example, it may snow.
- The inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or future success: an investment with a lot of potential; a singer who has the potential to become a major star.
- The possibility that something might happen or result from given conditions: a tense situation with the potential to turn into a riot; farming practices that increase the potential for the erosion of topsoil.
- Physics a. See electric potential.b. See gravitational potential.c. See magnetic potential.
- Grammar A potential verb form.
Origin of potentialMiddle English potencial, from Old French potenciel, from Late Latin potentiālis, powerful, from Latin potentia, power, from potēns, potent-, present participle of posse, to be able; see potent.
- Currently unrealized ability (with the most common adposition being to)
- Even from a young age it was clear that she had the potential to become a great musician.
- (physics) The gravitational potential is the radial (irrotational, static) component of a gravitational field, also known as the Newtonian potential or the gravitoelectric field.
- (physics) The work (energy) required to move a reference particle from a reference location to a specified location in the presence of a force field, for example to bring a unit positive electric charge from an infinite distance to a specified point against an electric field.
- (grammar) A verbal construction or form stating something is possible or probable.
- Existing in possibility, not in actuality.
- The heroic man,—and is not every man, God be thanked, a potential hero?—has to do so, in all times and circumstances.
- (archaic) Being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result; efficacious; influential.
- And hath, in his effect, a voice potential
- (physics) A potential field is an irrotational (static) field.
- From Maxwell equations (6.20) it follows that the electric field is potential: E(r) = −gradφ(r).
- (physics) A potential flow is an irrotational flow.
- The non-viscous flow of the vacuum should be potential (irrotational).
- (grammar) Referring to a verbal construction of form stating something is possible or probable.
potential - Computer Definition
- The work required to bring a unit of positive electric charge from a reference point (as at infinity) to a specified point in an electric field.
- Something that could happen but has not happened yet. Someone who could do something but has yet to do it, as in "He has a lot of potential." Some people never advance beyond the potential.
- Maybe. See also negative, null, and positive.