- Potential energy is defined as mechanical energy, stored energy, or energy caused by its position.
The energy that a ball has when perched at a top of a steep hill while it is about to roll down is an example of potential energy.
potential energy definition by Webster's New World
potential energy definition by American Heritage Dictionary
potential energy - Cultural Definition
The energy an object has because of its position, rather than its motion. An object held in a person's hand has potential energy, which turns to kinetic energy — the energy of motion — when the person lets it go, and it drops to the ground.