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Meaning of POTENTIAL

Pronunciation:  pu'tenshul

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  the difference in electrical charge between two points in a circuit expressed in volts
  2. [n]  the inherent capacity for coming into being
  3. [adj]  existing in possibility; "a potential problem"; "possible uses of nuclear poser"
  4. [adj]  expected to become or be; in prospect; "potential clients"; "expected income"

POTENTIAL is a 9 letter word that starts with P.


 Synonyms: electric potential, expected, latent, likely, possible, potency, potential difference, potential drop, potentiality, prospective, voltage
 Antonyms: actual, existent
 See Also: electrical phenomenon, evoked potential, latency, possibility, possibleness, prospect, resting potential



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Po*ten"tial\, a. [Cf. F. potentiel. See {Potency}.]
    1. Being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result;
       efficacious; influential. [Obs.] ``And hath in his effect
       a voice potential.'' --Shak.
    2. Existing in possibility, not in actuality. ``A potential
       hero.'' --Carlyle.
             Potential existence means merely that the thing may
             be at ome time; actual existence, that it now is.
                                                   --Sir W.
    {Potential cautery}. See under {Cautery}.
    {Potential energy}. (Mech.) See the Note under {Energy}.
    {Potential mood}, or {mode} (Gram.), that form of the verb
       which is used to express possibility, liberty, power,
       will, obligation, or necessity, by the use of may, can,
       must, might, could, would, or should; as, I may go; he can
  2. \Po*ten"tial\, n.
    1. Anything that may be possible; a possibility; potentially.
    2. (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
       co["o]rdinates 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
    3. (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.
Thesaurus Terms
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