Prospective vs Potential - What's the difference?

prospective | potential |

As adjectives the difference between prospective and potential

is that prospective is likely or expected to happen or become while potential is existing in possibility, not in actuality.

As nouns the difference between prospective and potential

is that prospective is (obsolete) the scene before or around, in time or in space; view; prospect while potential is currently unrealized ability (with the most common adposition being to ).

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?




  • Likely or expected to happen or become.
  • Prospective students are those who have already applied to the university, but have yet to be admitted.
  • Anticipated in the near or far future.
  • Of or relating to a prospect; furnishing a prospect.
  • * Milton
  • Time's long and dark prospective glass.
  • Looking forward in time; acting with foresight.
  • * Sir J. Child
  • The French king and king of Sweden are circumspect, industrious, and prospective , too, in this affair.


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) The scene before or around, in time or in space; view; prospect.
  • (obsolete) A perspective glass.
  • (Chaucer)
    (Beaumont and Fletcher)
  • (informal, often plural) A (potential) member, student, employee, date, partner, etc.
  • Would you like to show the prospective around?
    I'm meeting the prospectives at 3.
  • * 2006 , Verve: The Spirit of Today's Woman , volume 14, issues 4-6, page 114:
  • At the moment, meeting interesting, 'could be, maybe not' prospectives around the globe keeps her entertained.






    (en noun)
  • Currently unrealized ability (with the most common adposition being to )
  • Even from a young age it was clear that she had the potential to become a great musician.
  • (physics) The or the gravitoelectric field.Novello, M. ? VII Brazilian School of Cosmology and Gravitation, Rio de Janeiro, August 1993] Atlantica Séguier Frontières, 1994, p. 257 ? "In general, a system can have both translational and rotational accelerations, however. It follows from Einstein's principle of equivalence that locally—i.e., to the extent that spacetime curvature can be neglected—gravitational effects are the same as inertial effects; therefore, gravitation can be approximately described in terms of gravitoelectric and gravitomagnetic fields corresponding to translational and rotational inertia, respectively. This is the gravitational Larmor theorem, which is very useful in the post-Newtonian approximation to general relativity. The gravitomagnetic field of a massive rotating body is a measure of its absolute rotation."''Thorne, Kip S. ? [ Gravitomagnetism, Jets in Quasars, and the Stanford Gyroscope Experiment] From the book "Near Zero: New Frontiers of Physics" (eds. J. D. Fairbank, B. S. Deaver, Jr., C. W. F. Everitt, P. F. Michelson), W. H. Freeman and Company, New York, 1988, pp. 3, 4 (575, 576) ? ''"From our electrodynamical experience we can infer immediately that any rotating spherical body (e.g., the sun or the earth) will be surrounded by a radial gravitoelectric (Newtonian) field ''g''''' and a dipolar gravitomagnetic field '''''H'' . The gravitoelectric monopole moment is the body's mass M; the gravitomagnetic dipole moment is its spin angular momentum S."''Grøn, Øyvind; Hervik, Sigbjørn ? [,+while+the+gravitomagnetic+field+is+the+non-Newtonian+part.%22&source=bl&ots=vF8KM_toq1&sig=5rqHuClm2mU_RdeMVPP0xPth7bA&hl=en&ei=Pd8DTd-kLMLrOdKx0LsB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1 Einstein's General Theory of Relativity with Modern Applications in Cosmology Springer, 2007, p. 203 ? ''"In the Newtonian theory there will not be any gravitomagnetic effects; the Newtonian potential is the same irrespective of whether or not the body is rotating. Hence the gravitomagnetic field is a purely relativistic effect. The gravitoelectric field is the Newtonian part of the gravitational field, while the gravitomagnetic field is the non-Newtonian part."
  • (physics) The work (energy) required to move a reference particle from a reference location to a specified location in the presence of a force field, for example to bring a unit positive electric charge from an infinite distance to a specified point against an electric field.
  • (grammar) A verbal construction or form stating something is possible or probable.
  • Adjective

  • Existing in possibility, not in actuality.
  • The heroic man,—and is not every man, God be thanked, a potential hero?—has to do so, in all times and circumstances. Carlyle, Thomas ? Chartism ? Chapman & Hall, 1858, p. 229
  • (archaic) Being potent; endowed with energy adequate to a result; efficacious; influential.
  • And hath, in his effect, a voice potential Shakespeare, William ? Othello ? 1603
  • (physics) A potential field is an irrotational (static) field.
  • From Maxwell equations (6.20) it follows that the electric field is potential: E(r) = ?''grad''?(r).'' ''Soviet Physics, Uspekhi v. 40, issues 1–6, American Institute of Physics, 1997, p. 39
  • (physics) A is an irrotational flow.
  • The non-viscous flow of the vacuum should be potential (irrotational). Volovik, Grigory E. ? The Universe in a Helium Droplet Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 60
  • (grammar) Referring to a verbal construction of form stating something is possible or probable.
  • References