Definition of possibility in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌpäsəˈbilədē/

noun (plural possibilities)

1A thing that may happen or be the case: the theoretical possibility of a chain reaction [with clause]: there was always the possibility that he might be turned down
More example sentences
  • There is always a possibility of unfairness and if a mistake is made nothing can be done about it.
  • Feeling remorse, there is always the possibility of applying the remedy to purify any wrong we have done.
  • There was always the possibility of a change in personal or family fortune.
chance, likelihood, probability, hope;
risk, hazard, danger, fear
1.1The state or fact of being likely or possible; likelihood: there was no possibility of recompense for him
More example sentences
  • In such a case there is no possibility of double jeopardy and no risk of double recovery.
  • The radiation emitted is, as you say, miniscule - so small that there is no possibility of harm.
  • But there was no possibility of that because racial subjugation was enforced by law.
1.2A thing that may be chosen or done out of several possible alternatives: one possibility is to allow all firms to participate there are three possibilities for obtaining extra money
More example sentences
  • He was not defensive, and prepared to admit alternative possibilities as possibilities.
  • Can you talk about how and why it was humanism that triumphed over alternative possibilities?
  • This was true even though an education by Catholic monks offered alternative possibilities.
1.3 (possibilities) Unspecified qualities of a promising nature; potential: the house was old but it had possibilities
More example sentences
  • Obviously, our hopes have been bigger than the qualities and possibilities of these people.
  • The potentialities and possibilities of the electronic medium have been put to use to achieve this end.
  • One of the most promising possibilities is the developing of flour-based food products.


Late Middle English: from Old French possibilite, from late Latin possibilitas, from possibilis 'able to be done' (see possible).

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.