Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
late 14c., "possible" (as opposed to actual), from Old French potenciel and directly from Late Latin potentialis "potential," from Latin potentia "power, might, force;" figuratively "political power, authority, influence," from potens "powerful" (see potent). The noun, meaning "that which is possible," is first attested 1817, from the adjective.
potential po·ten·tial (pə-těn'shəl)
Capable of being but not yet in existence; latent. n.
The inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being.
The work required to bring a unit electric charge, magnetic pole, or mass from an infinitely distant position to a designated point in a static electric, magnetic, or gravitational field, respectively.
The potential energy of a unit charge at any point in an electric circuit measured with respect to a specified reference point in the circuit or to ground; voltage.