American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Capable of being but not yet in existence; latent: a potential problem.
- adj. Having possibility, capability, or power.
- adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or being a verbal construction with auxiliaries such as may or can; for example, it may snow.
- n. The inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being.
- n. Something possessing the capacity for growth or development.
- n. Grammar A potential verb form.
- n. Physics The work required to move a unit of positive charge, a magnetic pole, or an amount of mass from a reference point to a designated point in a static electric, magnetic, or gravitational field; potential energy.
- n. See potential difference.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Potent; powerful; mighty.
- Possible, as opposed to actual; capable of being or becoming; capable of coming into full being or manifestation.
- In physics, existing in a positional form, not as motion: especially in the phrase potential energy.
- In grammar, expressing power or possibility: as, the potential mode; potential forms.
- See phrase under participle
- n. Anything that may be possible; a possibility.
- n. In dynamics: The sum of the products of all the pairs of masses of a system, each product divided by the distance between the pair. The conception is due to Lagrange, the name to Green (1828) and independently to Gauss (1840). The potential is so called because its product by one constant differs only by another constant from the total vis viva of the system. In case there is but one attracting point, the potential is the sum of the masses, each divided by its distance from the point.
- n. More generally, the line-integral of the attractions of a conservative system from a fixed configuration to its actual configuration; the work that would be done by a system of attracting and repelling masses (obeying the law of energy) in moving from situations infinitely remote from one another (or from any other fixed situations) to their actual situation. In this sense, the potential is the negative of the potential energy, to a constant près. But some writers limit the use of the word to the case in which the bodies in (8+1) dimensional space attract one another inversely as the 8th power of the distance.
- n. In electrostatics, at any point near or within an electrified body, the quantity of work necessary to bring a unit of positive electricity from an infinite distance to that point, the given distribution of electricity remaining unaltered. See equipotential.
- n. A scalar quantity distributed through space in such a way that its slope represents a given vector quantity distributed through space.
- n. In electricity, an incorrect abbreviation of potential difference, or electric pressure.
- n. Currently unrealized ability (with the most common adposition being to)
- n. physics The work (energy) required to bring a unit positive electric charge from an infinite distance to a specified point against an electric field.
- n. grammar A verbal construction or form stating something is possible or probable.
- adj. Existing in possibility, not in actuality.
- adj. archaic Being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result; efficacious; influential.
- adj. physics A potential field is an irrotational (static) field.
- adj. physics A potential flow is an irrotational flow.
- adj. grammar Referring to a verbal construction of form stating something is possible or probable.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. obsolete Being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result; efficacious; influential.
- adj. Existing in possibility, not in actuality.
- n. Anything that may be possible; a possibility; potentially.
- n. (Math.) In the theory of gravitation, or of other forces acting in space, a function of the rectangular coordinates which determine the position of a point, such that its differential coefficients with respect to the coördinates are equal to the components of the force at the point considered; -- also called
potential function, or force function. It is called also Newtonian potential when the force is directed to a fixed center and is inversely as the square of the distance from the center.
- n. (Elec.) The energy of an electrical charge measured by its power to do work; hence, the degree of electrification as referred to some standard, as that of the earth; electro-motive force.
- n. the inherent capacity for coming into being
- adj. existing in possibility
- adj. expected to become or be; in prospect
- n. the difference in electrical charge between two points in a circuit expressed in volts
- From Late Latin potentialis, from Latin potentia ("power"), from potens ("powerful"); see potent. (Wiktionary)
- Middle 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. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The first potential stage is known as the _hylic_ or _potential intellect_.”
“The club's got so much potential and needs to grow to become a company to match that potential," she emphasises, tapping into a trend that has increasingly come to dictate modern football.”
“It was guaranteed to be able to stop a diplodocus in full charge; the electric potential (_potential!”
“Looks like rain potential is generally .5 "-.75" with some spots maybe topping 1 ", and perhaps others seeing less than .5".”
“Is it how high Jindal and his potential is above Kilgore, even if he had won in 2005.”
“Higher potential is also more loss potential and in a retirement plan, the most aggressive is still very conservative by anyone's normal measures.”
“The word 'potential' implies there haven't been profound wines from this region to date," said Mr. Page, after I mentioned the word.”
“Perhaps the only thing more tragic than the losses of these children and the diminishing of their potential is the fact that malnutrition is preventable.”
“But if Apple gets the remaining details right, the potential is all to the upside.”
“The admiral would not discuss what he called potential future operations, including whether these would involve targeting of Gadhafi command and control targets.”
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