adj. & n.
adj. capable of coming into being or action; latent.
n. 1 the capacity for use or development; possibility (achieved its highest potential). 2 usable resources. 3 Physics the quantity determining the energy of mass in a gravitational field or of charge in an electric field. potential barrier a region of high potential impeding the movement of particles etc. potential difference the difference of electric potential between two points. potential energy a body's ability to do work by virtue of its position relative to others, stresses within itself, electric charge, etc. potentiality n. potentialize v.tr. (also -ise). potentially adv.
[ ME f. OF potencial or LL potentialis f. potentia (as POTENT(1)) ]