Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: French
Origin: Latin possibilis, from posse 'to be able'

possible

1 adjective
     
pos‧si‧ble1 S1 W1
1 if something is possible, it can be done or achieved [≠ impossible]COLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
it is possible (for somebody) to do something make it possible (for somebody) to do something if (at all) possible (= if it is possible to do it) where/whenever/wherever possible (=every time you have an opportunity) do everything possible (in) every way possible technically possible (=possible using the scientific knowledge available) theoretically possible (=possible but difficult and unlikely to be done) humanly possible (=possible for anyone)
Is it possible to get tickets for the game?
It might be possible for the documents to be sent over.
Computer technology makes it possible for many people to work from home.
I want to avoid the rush hour traffic if possible.
I walk or use public transport whenever possible.
We are doing everything possible to track down the killer.
Our staff will help you in every way possible.
Even if it were technically possible , we do not have the money to do it.
She decided to stay as far away from him as was humanly possible.
2

as soon/quickly/much etc as possible

as soon, quickly etc as you can:
I need the money as soon as possible.
Sharon always does as little work as possible.
The original features of the house have been preserved as far as possible (=as much as possible).
3 a possible answer, cause etc might be true:
There seem to be only two possible explanations.
the possible causes of a child's learning difficulties
It's possible that the letter got lost in the post.
4 a possible event or thing might happen or exist:
Heavy rain is possible later in the day.
the possible effect on the health of local people
You need to look at the possible consequences of your actions.
In Hollywood, anything is possible (=anything can happen, even though it may seem very unlikely).
5

the best/biggest/fastest etc possible

the best etc that can exist or be achieved:
Try to get the best possible price.
What is the worst possible thing that could happen?
6

would it be possible (for somebody) to do something?

spoken used when asking politely if you can do or have something:
Would it be possible to speak to Oliver?

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary