po·ten·tial / pəˈtenchəl/ • adj. having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future: a two-pronged campaign to woo potential customers. • n. 1. latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness: a young broadcaster with great potential | the potentials of the technology were never wholly controllable. ∎ (often potential for/to do something) the possibility of something happening or of someone doing something in the future: the crane operator's clear view reduces the potential for accidents pesticides with the potential to cause cancer. 2. Physics the quantity determining the energy of mass in a gravitational field or of charge in an electric field. DERIVATIVES: po·ten·ti·al·i·ty / pəˌtenchēˈalətē/ n. po·ten·tial·ize / -ˌlīz/ v. po·ten·tial·ly adv. potentially dangerous products | potentially an even bigger bombshell is about to burst.