The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Potential \Po*ten"tial\, a. [Cf. F. potentiel. See Potency.]
1. Being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result;
efficacious; influential. [Obs.] "And hath in his effect a
voice potential." --Shak.
2. Existing in possibility, not in actuality. "A potential
Potential existence means merely that the thing may
be at ome time; actual existence, that it now is.
Potential cautery. See under Cautery.
Potential energy. (Mech.) See the Note under Energy.
Potential mood, or Potential mode (Gram.), that form of
the verb which is used to express possibility, liberty,
power, will, obligation, or necessity, by the use of may,
can, must, might, could, would, or should; as, I may go;
he can write.