quality of being possible; the condition or fact of being possible

Possibility is the condition or fact of being possible. Latin origins of the word hint at ability. Possibility also refers to something that "could happen", that is not precluded by the facts, but usually not probable.


  • The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. So I elect for neither label.
    • James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion : A Comedy of Redemption (1926), Book Four : Coth at Porutsa, Ch. XXVI : The Realist in Defeat
  • Possibility is neither forever nor instant. It is not easy to sustain belief in its efficacy. We can sometimes work long and hard to establish one beachhead of real resistance to the deaths we are expected to live, only to have that beachhead assaulted or threatened by those canards we have been socialized to fear, or by the withdrawal of those approvals that we have been warned to seek for safety.
  • There must be absolutely acceptance of the possibility that everything material in us should be destroyed. But we must simultaneously accept and repudiate the possibility that the supernatural part of the soul should disappear.
    • Simone Weil, "Concerning the Our Father" in Waiting on God (1972), Routledge & Kegan Paul edition, p. 153
  • In order to realise his possibilities, man must believe in an open future; he must have a vision of something worth doing.
    • Colin Wilson in New Pathways In Psychology: Maslow and the Post-Freudian Revolution, p 219-220 (1972)
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