adj. & n.
--adj. capable of coming into being or action; latent.
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.
Phrases and idioms:
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.
Etymology: ME f. OF potencial or LL potentialis f. potentia (as POTENT(1))