Definition of possibility in English:


Line breaks: pos¦si|bil¦ity
Pronunciation: /ˌpɒsɪˈbɪlɪti

noun (plural possibilities)

  • 1A thing that may happen or be the case: relegation remains a distinct possibility [with clause]: there was 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.
  • 1.1 [mass noun] The state or fact of being possible; likelihood: there is no possibility of any government achieving this level of expenditure
    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.
    feasibility, practicability, chances, odds, attainability, achievability, potentiality, conceivability, probability; opportunity, scope
    rare workableness
  • 1.2A thing that may be chosen or done out of several possible alternatives: one possibility is to allow all firms to participate
    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.
    option, alternative, choice, course of action, solution, recourse
    informal bet
  • 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.
    potential, potentiality, promise, prospects; capability, ability, aptitude, capacity
    informal what it takes


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

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