From Middle English possible, from Old French possible, from Latin possibilis (“possible”), from posse (“to be able”); see power. Displaced Old English mihtlīċ (“possible”), 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 8, 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)
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 plain.
- I've done what I can for your son, but without discipline, he won't put in full effort.