American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The energy of a particle or system of particles derived from position, or condition, rather than motion. A raised weight, coiled spring, or charged battery has potential energy.
- n. the energy possessed by an object because of its position (in a gravitational or electric field), or its condition (as a stretched or compressed spring, as a chemical reactant, or by having rest mass)
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Mech.) See the Note under Energy.
- n. the mechanical energy that a body has by virtue of its position; stored energy
“It did, indeed, seem straightforward enough: a significant mass, falling in toward Angelmass, would release gravitational potential energy as it fell, pushing some of the radiation streaming from the black hole over the threshold for self-focusing.”
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