from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances.
  • adjective Capable of becoming or of being made to be so; potential.
  • adjective Capable of occurring or being done in accordance with something specified. Used with the superlative.
  • adjective Capable of happening but of uncertain likelihood.
  • adjective Permissible.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • That may be; not known not to be true; not known not to be true in some hypothetical state of information.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Capable of existing or occurring, or of being conceived or thought of; able to happen; capable of being done; not contrary to the nature of things; -- sometimes used to express extreme improbability; barely able to be, or to come to pass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Able but not certain to happen; not impossible.
  • adjective comparable Capable of being done or achieved; feasible.
  • adjective Being considered, e.g. for a position.
  • noun A possible one
  • noun colloquial, rare A possible choice, notably someone being considered for a position.
  • noun rare A particular event that may happen.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun something that can be done
  • adjective capable of happening or existing
  • noun an applicant who might be suitable
  • adjective existing in possibility


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin possibilis, from posse, to be able; see poti- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin possibilis ("possible"), from Latin posse ("to be able"); see power.


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  • On Barack Obama and 'the art of the possible' yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'On Barack Obama and \'the art of the possible\' '; yahooBuzzArticleSummary =' Article: You hung it all out there for your latest hero, Barack Hussein Obama.

    On Barack Obama and 'the art of the possible' 2008

  • Just as the past tense ampliates the subject to include past as well as present supposita, modal verbs ampliate the subject to possible supposita, as do verbs such as ‘I understand’, ‘I believe’, and indeed, notes Albert of Saxony, verbal nouns ending in ‘-bile’: ‘possible’, ‘audible’, ‘credible’, ‘capable of laughter’ and so on.

    Medieval Theories: Properties of Terms Read, Stephen 2006

  • It is certainly possible for an anxious straining ingenuity to _imagine_ such cases; and where is the rule of law, which, in the infirmity of human institutions, cannot be shown capable of occasioning _possible_ mischief and injustice?

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 349, November, 1844 Various

  • '_Si c'est possible ... si c'est possible_ ... a double door with a grille?

    Widdershins Oliver [pseud.] Onions 1917

  • We're all hands averse to bloodshed, and we intend to work our business without it, if possible -- you understand, _if possible_!

    The Missing Merchantman Harry Collingwood 1886

  • So Le Mercier de la Rivière says, in 1767, that the ultimate end of society is _assurer le plus grand bonheur possible à la plus grande population possible_ (Daire's _Économistes_, p. 470).

    The English Utilitarians, Volume I. Leslie Stephen 1868

  • That turning of the oblique globe askance, which Wesley represents as the cause of extreme heat and cold, was the very thing to _prevent_ those extremes, or to reduce them to the lowest possible point, and to secure to every part of the globe, as _far as possible_, an _equal_ amount of light and warmth.

    Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again A Life Story Joseph Barker 1840

  • The game plan is to hit it as far as possible and as close as ­possible on every single hole. stories 2010

  • * Leave this file running on the browsers of as many computers as possible for as long as possible*

    Indymedia Ireland 2009

  • It is possible, under such circumstances that a Peace Party might arise; and perhaps just _possible_ that England and France might give weight to such a Party [628]. "

    Great Britain and the American Civil War Ephraim Douglass Adams


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