English

Definition of possible adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    possible

     adjective
    adjective
    BrE BrE//ˈpɒsəbl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɑːsəbl//
     
     
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [not usually before noun] that can be done or achieved It is possible to get there by bus. Would it be possible for me to leave a message for her? This wouldn't have been possible without you. Try to avoid losing your temper if at all possible (= if you can). Use public transport whenever possible (= when you can). It's just not physically possible to finish all this by the end of the week. We spent every possible moment on the beach. The doctors did all that was humanly possible to save him. Expansion was made possible by the investment of government money. opposite impossible Express YourselfForbidding somebody to do somethingWhen speaking to somebody, we usually use indirect language to ask them not to do something: I'm sorry, smoking isn't allowed./You're not allowed to smoke here. Would you mind not talking during the music? Could I ask you not to use your phone here, please? I'm afraid I have to ask you not to take pictures here. Express YourselfAsking for permission/​a favourYou are more likely to get what you want if you can ask for it politely. Here are some ways of asking whether you may do something: Would you mind if I opened the window? Could I possibly borrow your phone? I hate to ask, but could I please borrow your phone?(North American English) Do you happen to have a pair of gloves I could borrow for the evening? Would it be all right if I left five minutes early? Is there any chance that we could stay at your house the night before our flight? Would it be OK to leave my bag here?Responses: Yes, of course. Go ahead. That's fine. I'd rather you didn't, if you don't mind. I'd prefer it if you asked somebody else. If there's someone else you can ask, I'd be grateful.
  2. 2  that might exist or happen but is not certain to a possible future president the possible side effects of the drug Frost is possible, although unlikely, at this time of year. It's just possible that I gave them the wrong directions. With the possible exception of the Beatles, no other band has become so successful so quickly. ‘Do you think he’ll resign?’ ‘Anything’s possible where he’s concerned.’ ‘You might be wrong, of course!’ ‘It’s possible, but I doubt it.’ Language BankperhapsMaking an opinion sound less definite Most cybercrime involves traditional crimes, such as theft and fraud, being committed in new ways. Phishing is perhaps/possibly/probably the best-known example of this. It seems/appears that the more personal data which organizations collect, the more opportunity there is for this data to be lost or stolen. It seems clear that introducing national ID cards would do little to prevent identity theft. It could be argued that the introduction of national ID cards might actually make identity theft easier. It is possible that/It may be that the only way to protect ourselves against DNA identity theft is to avoid the creation of national DNA databases.
  3. 3  reasonable or acceptable in a particular situation There are several possible explanations. Please suggest possible ways in which you would improve the existing program.
  4. 4used after adjectives to emphasize that something is the best, worst, etc. of its type It was the best possible surprise anyone could have given me. Don't leave your packing until the last possible moment.
  5. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin possibilis, from posse ‘be able’.Extra examples I’d like the money back by next week if possible. In those circumstances, I thought it possible to work with him. It is just possible that he’s still here. It’s theoretically possible but highly unlikely ever to happen. New technology has made it possible to communicate more easily. Please come as soon as possible. She did as much as possible to help him. ‘Do you think he’ll resign?’ ‘Anything’s possible where he’s concerned.’ ‘You might be wrong, of course!’ ‘It’s possible, but I doubt it.’ Do everything possible to get it finished on time. He explained the possible side effects of the drug. It is possible to get there by bus. It’s just not physically possible to finish all this by the end of the week. It’s just possible that I gave them the wrong directions. It’s scarcely possible that he knew nothing about it. She’s perfectly possible as our main speaker. They spoke of her as a possible future president. This would not have been possible without you. Travel by bus whenever possible. Try to avoid losing your temper if (at all) possible. What are the possible interpretations of this message? What possible reason can you have for stopping me going? Would it be possible for me to leave a message for her?Idioms
    as quickly, much, soon, etc. as possible
     
    jump to other results
     as quickly, much, soon, etc. as you can We will get your order to you as soon as possible. Try to give as much detail as possible in your answer.
    the best of both worlds/all possible worlds
     
    jump to other results
    the benefits of two or more completely different situations that you can enjoy at the same time If you enjoy the coast and the country, you'll get the best of both worlds on this walk.
    the worst of all (possible) worlds
     
    jump to other results
    all the disadvantages of every situation
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: possible