From Middle English possible, from Old French possible, from Latin possibilis (“possible”), from posse (“to be able”); see power. Displaced Old English mihtlīċ, which was cognate with Dutch mogelijk (“possible”) and German möglich (“possible”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈpɒsɪbl̩/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈpɑsəbl̩/
Audio (US) (file)
- Hyphenation: pos‧si‧ble
- (usually not comparable) Able but not certain to happen; neither inevitable nor impossible.
- Synonyms: futurable; see also Thesaurus:possible
- Antonyms: certain, inevitable, impossible
- Rain tomorrow is possible, but I wouldn't bet on it.
- It's not just possible, it's probable that there will be rain tomorrow.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter VIII, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
- The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; […] . Now she had come to look upon the matter in its true proportions, and her anticipation of a possible chance of teaching him a lesson was a pleasure to behold.
- (comparable) Capable of being done or achieved; feasible.
- Synonyms: achievable, doable, viable
- Antonym: impossible
- It's possible for anyone to learn to pay the bagpipes.
- 1901, Louis Freeland Smith, The Public, volume 4, page 438:
- And success in minor degree, in the sense in which he uses the term "success," is only somewhat more possible than success in winning the White House chair.
- 1993, September 10, “Lee Michael Katz”, in Expectant Mideast hopes to bear twin peace deals, page 2A:
- Peace between Israel and the Arab countries is "more possible than any time before," says ex-Arab League U.N. ambassador Clovis Maskoud.
- 2013 June 29, “A punch in the gut”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 72-3:
- Mostly, the microbiome is beneficial. It helps with digestion and enables people to extract a lot more calories from their food than would otherwise be possible. Research over the past few years, however, has implicated it in diseases from atherosclerosis to asthma to autism.
- Being considered, e.g. for a position.
- Jones and Smith are both possible for the opening in sales.
- Apparently valid, likely, plausible.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
possible (plural possibles)
- A possible one.
- (colloquial, rare) A possible choice, notably someone being considered for a position.
- Jones is a possible for the new opening in sales.
- (rare) A particular event that may happen.
- “possible” in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- “possible” in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
possible (masculine and feminine plural possibles)
possible (plural possibles)
- (archaic) possibly
- 1657, Cyrano de Bergerac, Les Etats et Empires de la Lune:
- […] ils conclurent tous d’une commune voix que je n’étais pas un homme, mais possible quelque espèce d’autruche, vu que je portais comme elle la tête droite, que je marchais sur deux pieds, et qu’enfin, hormis un peu de duvet, je lui étais tout semblable […]
possible m (plural possibles)
- The possible, feasible, what can be done, achieved etc.
- J'ai fait mon possible pour votre fils, mais sans discipline, il ne s'efforce pas à plein.
- I've done what I can for your son, but without discipline, he won't put in full effort.