Definition of possible in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpäsəb(ə)l/


1Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or something: surely it’s not possible for a man to live so long? what are the possible alternatives? contact me as soon as possible I’d like the report this afternoon, if possible
More example sentences
  • But we have to take this up as soon as possible for reasons I will explain when I hear from you.
  • Access as soon as possible for NGOs and aid is particularly important.
  • The practice direction requires all applications to be made as soon as possible and before allocation if possible.
feasible, practicable, practical, viable, within the bounds/realms of possibility, attainable, achievable, workable
informal doable
1.1Able to happen although not certain to; denoting a fact, event, or situation that may or may not occur or be so: a new theory emerged about the possible cause of the plane crash [with clause]: it is possible that he will have to return to the hospital
More example sentences
  • This does not contradict probable and possible effects, but it hides these words.
  • The results are then tabulated in a series of checklists or grids to indicate possible or probable health effects.
  • Moreover, pure public goods do not exist, with the possible exception of national defence.
conceivable, plausible, imaginable, believable, likely, potential, probable, credible
1.2 [attributive] Able to be or become; potential: he was a possible future customer
More example sentences
  • The property comes with a range of traditional farm buildings that have possible development potential.
  • The site also includes a surface car park with possible development potential.
  • Then a horse dies underneath you, you crash to the ground and in an instant you go from future star to possible paraplegic.
potential, prospective, likely, probable
1.3 [with superlative] Having as much or as little of a specified quality as can be achieved: children need the best education possible the shortest possible route
More example sentences
  • It provides the best set of features with the highest possible quality in maps.
  • To take care of those who need the health care and as high a quality as possible.
  • On the other hand the insurer has to balance the lowest possible cost with the quality of the job.
1.4 [attributive] (Of a number or score) as high as is achievable in a test, competition, or game: he scored 723 points out of a possible 900
More example sentences
  • For they will have the freedom to boost their quota of scores to the highest possible tally.
  • To facilitate pooling, soreness scores were converted to percentages of the maximum possible score.
  • It has been awarded the highest possible score for its teaching quality.


1A person or thing that has the potential to become or do something, especially a potential candidate for a job or membership on a team: I have marked five possibles with an asterisk
More example sentences
  • A veteran himself at 35 he could prove to be a valuable addition to the club and a possible for the first team squad.
  • Their striker, who had a knee operation during the summer, missed the probables versus possibles contest at Maine Road last weekend.
  • The other players who were not in the initial tour squad because of injury problems are still possibles for the trip to Australia.
1.1 (the possible) That which is likely or achievable: they were living right at the edge of the possible
More example sentences
  • The first commitment must be to the dialogue process and to achieve the possible.
  • Managers may be described as being too busy doing the possible to find time to reach for the difficult or impossible.
  • We have done the possible, can we do better?


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin possibilis, from posse 'be able'.

Words that rhyme with possible

compossible, impossible

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pos·si·ble

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