Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)
result(s) from the 1913
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."
2. 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.
Sir W. Hamilton.
Potential cautery. See under Cautery
. -- Potential energy. (Mech.)
See the Note under Energy
. -- Potential mood, ∨ 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 write.
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 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.
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.