• WordNet 3.6
    • adj potential existing in possibility "a potential problem","possible uses of nuclear power"
    • adj potential expected to become or be; in prospect "potential clients"
    • n potential the difference in electrical charge between two points in a circuit expressed in volts
    • n potential the inherent capacity for coming into being
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Albuquerque, New Mexico it is illegal for cab drivers to reach out and pull potential customers into their cabs.
    • Potential Anything that may be possible; a possibility; potentially.
    • Potential Being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result; efficacious; influential. "And hath in his effect a voice potential ."
    • Potential Existing in possibility, not in actuality. "A potential hero.""Potential existence means merely that the thing may be at ome time; actual existence, that it now is."
    • Potential (Math) In the theory of gravitation, or of other forces acting in space, a function of the rectangular coordinates which determine the position of a point, such that its differential coefficients with respect to the coördinates are equal to the components of the force at the point considered; -- also called potential function, or force function. It is called also Newtonian potential when the force is directed to a fixed center and is inversely as the square of the distance from the center.
    • Potential (Elec) The energy of an electrical charge measured by its power to do work; hence, the degree of electrification as referred to some standard, as that of the earth; electro-motive force.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Most people know what pH means, but few people know that it stands for pondus hydrogenii which means potential hydrogen and that each unit is a phidron.
    • potential Potent; powerful; mighty.
    • potential Possible, as opposed to actual; capable of being or becoming; capable of coming into full being or manifestation.
    • potential In physics, existing in a positional form, not as motion: especially in the phrase potential energy.
    • potential In grammar, expressing power or possibility: as, the potential mode; potential forms.
    • potential See phrase under participle
    • n potential Anything that may be possible; a possibility.
    • n potential In dynamics: The sum of the products of all the pairs of masses of a system, each product divided by the distance between the pair. The conception is due to Lagrange, the name to Green (1828) and independently to Gauss (1840). The potential is so called because its product by one constant differs only by another constant from the total vis viva of the system. In case there is but one attracting point, the potential is the sum of the masses, each divided by its distance from the point.
    • n potential More generally, the line-integral of the attractions of a conservative system from a fixed configuration to its actual configuration; the work that would be done by a system of attracting and repelling masses (obeying the law of energy) in moving from situations infinitely remote from one another (or from any other fixed situations) to their actual situation. In this sense, the potential is the negative of the potential energy, to a constant près. But some writers limit the use of the word to the case in which the bodies in (8+1) dimensional space attract one another inversely as the 8th power of the distance.
    • n potential In electrostatics, at any point near or within an electrified body, the quantity of work necessary to bring a unit of positive electricity from an infinite distance to that point, the given distribution of electricity remaining unaltered. See equipotential.
    • n potential A scalar quantity distributed through space in such a way that its slope represents a given vector quantity distributed through space.
    • n potential In electricity, an incorrect abbreviation of potential difference, or electric pressure.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Pacific Giant Octopus, the largest octopus in the world, grows from the size of pea to a 150 pound behemoth potentially 30 feet across in only two years, its entire life-span.
    • adj Potential powerful, efficacious: existing in possibility, not in reality:
    • adj Potential (gram.) expressing power, possibility, liberty, or obligation
    • ***


  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “If you believe in an unseen Christ, you will believe in the unseen Christlike potential of others.”
  • Roger Williams
    Roger Williams
    “The greatest crime in the world is not developing your potential. When you do what you do best, you are helping not only yourself, but the world.”
  • Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
    Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
    “Every man is a potential genius until he does something.”
  • Gloria Steinem
    “By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God.”
  • Will Schultz
    Will Schultz
    “Joy comes from using your potential.”
  • Napoleon Hill
    “Knowledge is only potential power.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. potentiel,. See Potency
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. potenspotis, able, esse, to be.


In literature:

It was a confusing place, crammed full of transport, but I found my way to our potential H.Q.
"Adventures of a Despatch Rider" by W. H. L. Watson
They were not ill satisfied with the potential recruits.
"The Disentanglers" by Andrew Lang
Bear yourself like a man who has prosperous potentialities if not prosperous assets.
"The Young Man and the World" by Albert J. Beveridge
In the beginning, however, it was only a potentiality or tendency.
"Winds Of Doctrine" by George Santayana
It is the fountain-head of all potential energy.
"The Breath of Life" by John Burroughs
Ultimately, Jimmy located a potential source of pleasure.
"The Fourth R" by George Oliver Smith
There isn't anything of us, as I look at it, except the potentiality of experiences.
"A Pair of Patient Lovers" by William Dean Howells
It is the conversion, by unknown causes, of these innate potentialities into actual existences.
"Hume" by T.H. Huxley
He considered the footman as a potential friend, whatever the footman might consider him.
"Franklin Kane" by Anne Douglas Sedgwick
With such lavish powers, or at least potentialities, was Shakespeare born.
"Platform Monologues" by T. G. Tucker

In poetry:

Potential and Subjunctive then
Came forth with doubt and chance:
All fell alike, with all their men,
Before Sir Hornbook's lance.
"Sir Hornbook" by Thomas Love Peacock
Behold potential plenty for us all!
Behold the pauper and the plutocrat!
Behold the signs prophetic of thy fall,
O Dynast of the Fat!
"The Red Winds Come!" by John Gneisenau Neihardt
When she, the mindless clay no more
In Lust's or Fear's potential hands,
Shall range her uncontested lands
Or sister world's befriending shore.
"The Testimony of the Suns" by George Sterling
For that pink of female gender
Tall and shapely was, and slender,
Plump of neck and bust and arms;
While the raiment that invested
Her so jealously suggested
Certain more potential charms.
"Lydia Dick" by Eugene Field
His Indicative some new aggression foreshews—
His Potential means plunder to friends and to foes—
His Subjunctive denotes turning Saints into Cash—
His Optative aims at these Islands a dash:
"The New French Grammar Analysed" by Thomas Stott
At dawn he stood, potential, opulent,
With virile manhood, and emotions keen,
And wonderful with God's creative fire.
At noon he stands, with Love's large fortune spent
In petty traffic, unproductive, mean—
A pauper, cursed with impotent desire.
"The Squanderer" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In news:

Old Navy's recent push deeper into selling licensed college (and NFL) apparel hit a potentially embarrassing snag with a T-shirt line that has faulty punctuation.
Potential Art Bargains on the Block.
Says further action may be needed on that and whether broadcasters should better publicize potential station sales.
The National Football League said it wants to look at Dodger Stadium as a potential site for a new stadium to serve as home to a Los Angeles professional football franchise.
In order to avert a potential shift away from Brownfields redevelopment, parties interested in redeveloping contaminated properties need to address challenges early in the process.
NextGen Institute Presents Challenges, Potential of NextGen.
Waiting for the World to Awaken to SAAS` Potential.
Boost your home's appear to potential buyers by adding awnings to your windows.
On Halloween, Nick Spencer is unleashing the vilest supervillain he has ever concocted in a book with scary good potential.
Roosevelt's Badlands Ranch Faces Potential Threat.
T here are restaurants that are like narrowing funnels of options, and there are restaurants that are like widening cones of potential experience.
Study raises hopes of potential cure for baldness .
New York State will not be imposing stricter regulations on ships potentially carrying invasive species into the Great Lakes.
Chapters Banding Together Shows Potential.
"We also met with Councilman Vacca earlier this week and are currently reviewing potential locations for authorized barbecue areas near Bronx Park East.".

In science:

Given 1) an effective potential for the scalars and 2) the existence of AdS solution (at extrema of the potential), the procedure is in principle straightforward.
AdS/CFT Correspondence and Type 0 String Theory
Vp is a periodic potential in the height direction and the random potential η is not periodic.
A periodic elastic medium in which periodicity is relevant
The instanton solution for the potential v(x) in the case of short range potential.
Instanton approach to the Langevin motion of a particle in a random potential
ME, working on the sample, starts with assumed form of potential functions, forming potential moment consistency constraints.
Minimax Entropy and Maximum Likelihood. Complementarity of tasks, identity of solutions
The general total potential is U (x, λ, α) = λ(x − α)2 , so the potential is u(x, α) = (x − α)2 .
Minimax Entropy and Maximum Likelihood. Complementarity of tasks, identity of solutions