powerless

adjective
pow·​er·​less | \ ˈpau̇(-ə)r-ləs How to pronounce powerless (audio) \

Definition of powerless

1 : devoid of strength or resources powerless victims
2 : lacking the authority or capacity to act was powerless to help

Other Words from powerless

powerlessly adverb
powerlessness noun

Examples of powerless in a Sentence

I wish I could help you, but I am powerless in this situation.
Recent Examples on the Web His try at taking down the corrupt Jo Tae-seob ends with Tae-seob mocking him for being powerless. Joan Macdonald, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 His workday doesn’t end until 10 P.M. Days off are dictated by the wind, because single-engine pangas are powerless to fight the strong gusts that kick up from the hot desert. Adam Skolnick, Outside Online, 4 May 2022 The South Korean senior is not the only one who has felt powerless and at the mercy of such self-serve digital kiosk machines. Chae Young Oh, ABC News, 17 Jan. 2022 All of this may seem manipulative, but Voss, who became a negotiator because he’d been bullied as a child and wanted to help others who felt powerless, frames it as a matter of fighting back. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2021 Even before the pandemic, those who stayed in the profession were often exhausted and felt powerless in workplaces that too often failed to help them or ignored their ideas about improving patient care, Cimiotti said. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Aug. 2021 Even before the pandemic, those who stayed in the profession were often exhausted and felt powerless in workplaces that too often failed to help them or ignored their ideas about improving patient care, Cimiotti said. Willoughby Mariano, ajc, 20 Aug. 2021 That veto power -- shared with the four other permanent members China, the U.S., the United Kingdom, and France -- has rendered the Security Council powerless to even pass a resolution condemning the Kremlin's invasion. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 5 Apr. 2022 What fuels online engagement is the capacity of digital platforms to make everyone feel both enormously powerful and utterly powerless. New York Times, 18 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'powerless.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of powerless

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for powerless

Time Traveler

The first known use of powerless was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near powerless

power landing

powerless

powerlifting

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Statistics for powerless

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Powerless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powerless. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for powerless

powerless

adjective
pow·​er·​less | \ ˈpau̇-ər-ləs How to pronounce powerless (audio) \

Kids Definition of powerless

: without power, strength, authority, or influence He was powerless to stop them.

More from Merriam-Webster on powerless

Nglish: Translation of powerless for Spanish Speakers

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