/ pəˈtenʃl; NAmE / adjective , noun
[ only before noun ] that can develop into sth or be developed in the future
SYN possible :
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
[ 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.