1 adj You use potential to say that someone or something is capable of developing into the particular kind of person or thing mentioned.
The firm has identified 60 potential customers at home and abroad..., We are aware of the potential problems and have taken every precaution.
potentially adv ADV with cl/group
Clearly this is a potentially dangerous situation...
2 n-uncount If you say that someone or something has potential, you mean that they have the necessary abilities or qualities to become successful or useful in the future.
also N in pl
The school strives to treat pupils as individuals and to help each one to achieve their full potential..., Denmark recognised the potential of wind energy early.
3 n-uncount If you say that someone or something has potentialfor doing a particular thing, you mean that it is possible they may do it. If there is the potential for something, it may happen.
also N in pl, with supp, oft N for n/-ing
John seemed as horrified as I about his potential for violence..., The meeting has the potential to be a watershed event...
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"