From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpotentialpo‧ten‧tial1 /pəˈtenʃəl/ ●●●S3W2AWL adjective [only before noun]POSSIBLElikely to develop into a particular type of person or thing in the future syn possiblepotential customer/buyer/clientnew ways of attracting potential customerspotential benefit/problemthe potential benefits of the new systempotential danger/threat/riskthe potential risks to health associated with the drugCOLLOCATIONSnounsa potential customer/buyer/clientAdvertisers want to reach as many potential customers as possible.a potential candidateParty leaders have put together a list of 10 potential candidates.a potential problemThere is a potential problem with the new equipment.a potential danger/threat/riskTired drivers are a potential danger to other road users.potential conflictFunding is an area of potential conflict between the two departments.a potential benefitThe potential benefits must be weighed up against the costs involved.a potential source of somethingA dirty kitchen is a potential source of infection.
potentialpotential2 ●●○W3AWL noun [uncountable]1the possibility that something will develop in a particular way, or have a particular effectpotential forThe company certainly has the potential for growth.potential ofthe potential of the Internet to create jobs2GOOD ATif people or things have potential, they have a naturalability or quality that could develop to make them very goodhave/show potentialShe has the potential to become a champion.with potentiala young player with great potentialachieve/fulfil/realize your (full) potential (=succeed as well as you possibly can)3technicalHPE the difference in voltage between two points on an electricalcircuitCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: if people or things have potential, they have a natural ability or quality that could develop to make them very goodverbshave potentialWhen he saw I had some potential, he gave me extra coaching.show potentialNicholson soon showed great potential as an actor.develop your potential (=succeed by using your skills or talents)A good school aims to enable pupils to develop their potential.achieve/fulfil/reach/realize your potential (=succeed as much as you have the potential to succeed)A lot of athletes find it difficult to achieve their potential.exploit somebody’s/something’s potential (=use all the qualities that someone or something has)Until now, the island has not exploited its potential as a tourist destination.unlock/unleash somebody’s potential (=allow them to succeed as well as they can)Training is a way of unlocking the potential of the workforce.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + potentialgreat/enormous/considerable potentialThis is a team with great potential.somebody’s full potentialWe continuously seek to develop people to their full potential.somebody’s true potential (=their full potential)Malaysia only showed glimpses of their true potential in the final stages of the tournament.commercial/economic potential (=the potential to earn money)They were quick to recognize the band’s commercial potential.leadership potential (=the potential to become a leader)She always felt that I had leadership potential.star potential (=the potential to be a star in music, films etc)The woman who spotted Kate’s star potential was Sarah Doukas.human potential (=people’s abilities or qualities)Mass unemployment is a shameful waste of human potential.
Examples from the Corpus
potential• Having bypassed college, will he ever reach his athleticpotential?• He was giving a talk at a career-development seminar to top executives from his then-employer, who were evaluating his careerpotential.• This travelingwave of altered electrical potential is called an action potential, more commonly known as a nerveimpulse.• The fundmanager can, therefore, select the mix of bonds which offers the most attractive yield and capitalgrowthpotential.• She may not be a great violinist yet but she has potential.• He's young but he shows a lot of potential.• Stephen is a player with realpotential.• One of their children has the potential to be a brilliantscientist.• This has greatly reduced their potential for instigating change.• Assessing this potential helps the practitioner to decide how best to work with an elder when some breakdown in routineoccurs.potential for• Consult a doctor to minimize the potential forhealthrisks.achieve/fulfil/realize your (full) potential• All girls and boys, from every background, must be able to discover their talents and fulfil their potential.• Many teachersexpressconcern that even their more able pupils do not fulfil their potential in the subject.• We only fulfil our potential as individuals in working with and for others, as well as for ourselves.• Supporters like Jim Cummins maintain that heritagelanguageteaching is an important step in helping immigrant students realize their potential.• But as you grow in confidence, and experience, you will be able to realize your full potential.• But despite all the advancements in recent decades, computers are only now beginning to realize their potential.• That is not to say, of course, that it won't take longer for her to fulfil her potential.From Longman Business Dictionarypotentialpo‧ten‧tial1 /pəˈtenʃəl/ adjective [only before a noun]a potential customer, market, buyer etc is not yet a customer etc, but may become one in the futureThe company’s financial difficulties have deterred potential investors.The company declined to confirm the names of the twopotential bidders.The executives fear merger will expose the company to new potential losses.potentialpotential2 noun [uncountable]1the possibility that something will develop in a certain way or be able to do somethingHe was eager to capitalize on the commercial potential of his designs.the labor-saving potential of information technologypotential forThe company certainly has the potential for growth. →brand potential2a natural ability or quality that shows someone or something will be successfula young businesswoman with great potential —potentially adverbPotentially, the market is huge.a dispute that potentially involves tens of millions of dollars