Meaning of POTENTIAL in English

/ pəˈtenʃl; NAmE / adjective , noun

■ adjective

[ only before noun ] that can develop into sth or be developed in the future

SYN possible :

potential customers

a potential source of conflict

a potential prime minister

First we need to identify actual and potential problems.

►  po·ten·tial·ly / -ʃəli; NAmE / adverb :

a potentially dangerous situation

■ noun


[ U ] ~ (for / for doing sth) the possibility of sth happening or being developed or used :

the potential for change

The European marketplace offers excellent potential for increasing sales.


[ U ] qualities that exist and can be developed

SYN promise :

All children should be encouraged to realize their full potential .

She has great potential as an artist.

He has the potential to become a world-class musician.

The house has a lot of potential.


[ U , C ] ( physics ) the difference in voltage between two points in an electric field or circuit



late Middle English : from late Latin potentialis , from potentia power, from potent- being able, from the verb posse . The noun dates from the early 19th cent.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.