Definition of potential noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pəˈtenʃl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pəˈtenʃl//
    Job skills and personal qualities
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  1. 1  [uncountable] the possibility of something happening or being developed or used potential (for) the potential for change potential (for doing something) The European marketplace offers excellent potential for increasing sales.
  2. 2  [uncountable] qualities that exist and can be developed synonym 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. See related entries: Job skills and personal qualities
  3. 3 [uncountable, countable] (physics) the difference in voltage between two points in an electric field or circuit
  4. Word Originlate 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.Extra examples He believes that religion allows us to develop our human potential. John Cadbury could see the potential for his product. She showed great potential as an actor. Signing for a top club would enable him to fulfil his true potential. The new business offers great potential for growth. They were among the first companies to exploit the potential of the Internet. This young man has enormous potential. We’re looking for a trainee with potential. You aren’t using your computer to its full potential. an industry that has the potential for growth his dream of fulfilling his true potential All children should be encouraged to realize their full potential. It is clear that the potential for change is there.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: potential

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