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Potentiality   Listen

The inherent capacity for coming into being.  Synonyms: potency, potential.
An aptitude that may be developed.  Synonyms: capability, capableness.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Potentiality" Quotes from Famous Books

... of action and potentiality; the more superior he is, he has the less potentiality. They have not matter properly. Every angel differs from another angel in species. An angel is of the same species as a soul. Angels have not naturally a body ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... is an authority which never fails, never dies—an authority which willy-nilly we obey and in which we place unbounded trust. In any one of these Registers is a potentiality which can always worst the quibbles and quiddities of lawyers and ward off the miserable technicalities of the law. Any of them, when called upon, can go into court and dictate to the litigants and the attorneys, the jury and the judge. They are the deceased witnesses ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... intensely cooled over the continental and Barrier areas, and the edge of this cold region lapped by warmer air from the southern limits of Lockyer's cyclones. This would produce a condition of unstable equilibrium, with great potentiality for movement. Since, as we have found, volumes of cold air at different temperatures are very loath to mix, the condition could not be relieved by any gradual process, but continues until the stream is released by some minor cause, when, the ball once started, ...
— Scott's Last Expedition Volume I • Captain R. F. Scott

... however, with enough attention, we have not allowed them to penetrate enough into the soul, to think them very significant. The stimulation of fireworks, or of kaleidoscopic effects, seems to us trivial. But everything which has a varied content has a potentiality of form and also of meaning. The form will be enjoyed as soon as attention accustoms us to discriminate and recognize its variations; and meaning will accrue to it, when the various emotional values of these forms ally the new object to ...
— The Sense of Beauty - Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory • George Santayana

... will not write of their own free will; the literary first-mate in way of a Managing Editor with a loaded club of expletives is necessary. Or, stay! there is another way to stimulate the ganglionic cells and become dexterous in the cosmic potentiality—the Daily Theme sent to a woman who thinks and feels. That is the way that Goethe acquired his style. There were love-letters that crossed each other daily, and after years of this practise—the sparks ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... of atoms obeying fixed laws, they are either ascribing some kind of intelligence and free will to atoms or they are talking nonsense. There is no obedience unless there is at any rate a potentiality of disobeying. ...
— The Note-Books of Samuel Butler • Samuel Butler

... defunct. To speculate further on that subject would be futile. It never had existed, as far as he could see, except on paper, and there it remained, a mere potentiality. The single-handed disruption of it proved how utterly deprived it was of cohesion and organization. That one man, alone and in disguise, could have acquainted himself thoroughly with the whole proceeding, could have found his way with no attempt at interference into the meeting ...
— The Loyalist - A Story of the American Revolution • James Francis Barrett

... the type approached by each generation may differ from that approached by the previous one; that not merely the degree of perfection, but the direction of growth, may vary. The individual is not merely unfolded from an inner potentiality derived from a like ancestor and carrying with it a fixed eternal ideal, but on the contrary the very ground plan of organisation may gradually change and a new form and a new ideal may appear. Spontaneous variations—of course mechanically caused[C]—may occur ...
— The Life of Reason • George Santayana

... this or the other noble Roman should not be accused of having joined it. Many noble Romans had no doubt joined besides those who had fallen fighting, or who had been executed in the dungeons. Accusations became very rife. One Vettius accused Caesar, the Praetor; but Caesar, with that potentiality which was peculiar to him, caused Vettius to be put into prison instead of going to prison himself. Many were convicted and banished; among them Porcius Laeca, Vargunteius, Servius Sulla, the brother of him of whom we are now speaking, and Autronius his colleague. In the trial of these men ...
— Life of Cicero - Volume One • Anthony Trollope

... intelligence. In actual attainment the townsman is somewhat more advanced than the countryman. But the deterioration of physique which accompanies this gain causes a weakening of mental fibre: the potentiality of intellectual development and work which the countryman brings with him on his entry to town life is thwarted and depressed by the progressive physical enfeeblement. Most of the best and strongest intellectual work done in the towns is done by immigrants, ...
— The Evolution of Modern Capitalism - A Study of Machine Production • John Atkinson Hobson

... cannot measure the sacrifice and suffering of these lives. If we could know the infinite value of the unit of personality, or compute the preciousness and potentiality of a single life destroyed, we might then hope to multiply it by the million. If human scales could weigh the sorrow of a widow's heart, could compute the anguish of a mother's loss, could prophesy the deprivation of an orphan's lot, or know ...
— With Our Soldiers in France • Sherwood Eddy

... of a better word is termed "personality;" something elusive and evasive, that cannot easily be defined or explained, but nevertheless remains the essential quality that distinguishes its possessor from every other human being. But while all may have the potentiality for some distinct and special attribute, unfortunately for by far the greater number this is never developed or expressed, and they pass through their uneventful, monotonous existence, without even realizing their capacity for being or doing something ...
— The Art of Stage Dancing - The Story of a Beautiful and Profitable Profession • Ned Wayburn

... Artificer was a free agent, and that he voluntarily, and in full view of the consequences, engineered the conjunction of atoms from which consciousness arose. He could have let it alone, he could have suffered life to remain an abortive, slumbering potentiality, like the fire in a piece of flint; yet he deliberately clashed the flint and steel and kindled the torch which was to be handed on, not only from generation to generation, but from species to species, through all the stages of a toilsome, slaughterous, ...
— God and Mr. Wells - A Critical Examination of 'God the Invisible King' • William Archer

Words linked to "Potentiality" :   imperfectibility, potential, capable, incapability, range, perfectibility, possible, incapable, aptitude, compass, grasp, reach, prospect, chance, possibleness, possibility, latency

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