Definition of helpless
1 : lacking protection or support : defenseless as helpless as a flock of shepherdless sheep — W. H. Mallock
2a : marked by an inability to act or react the crowd looked on in helpless horror — Current Biographyb : not able to be controlled or restrained helpless laughter
Examples of helpless in a Sentence
The civilians were helpless against their attackers.
Firefighters were helpless against the blaze.
I feel helpless. Isn't there anything I can do?
The crowd was helpless with laughter.
He was helpless with rage.
Recent Examples of helpless from the Web
Fraud allegations tarnished the vote, leaving the 48.6 percent of Turks who cast ballots against the constitutional overhaul doubting the result, but helpless to do anything about it.
Meanwhile, the fire hose of botnets and malware gushing through the Internet these days leaves victims feeling helpless.
Even if an Armata does manage to lock onto an Abrams at extreme ranges, the American tank isn't helpless.
Wenstrup, a doctor who served as an Army surgeon in Iraq, said witnesses were helpless to assist Scalise as the gunman fired off dozens of rounds across the field.
This speed and distance leaves ground operators largely helpless if anything goes awry.
Rush continues to gain visibility following appearances in The Giver and Goosebumps, but her Prayer role as a helpless tagalong remains too underwritten to draw much attention.
Privy to their scheme but seemingly helpless to intervene, the fetus contemplates questions of bloodlines and love.
The CDC found youth who observe bullying behavior without participating in it report feeling more helpless and less connected to parents and schools than those who have not witnessed bullying.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'helpless'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
HELPLESS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of helpless for English Language Learners
: not protected : not able to defend yourself
: unable to do something to make a situation, task, etc., better or easier
: not able to be controlled
HELPLESS Defined for Kids
Definition of helpless for Students
: without help or defense a helpless infant
Seen and Heard
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