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

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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

The best ending for Cersei’s character arc is to make her live alone and powerless for the rest of her life. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why Cersei Lannister Should Survive the End of 'Game of Thrones'," 30 Apr. 2019 Traditionally a witchcraft charge amounted to powerful men charging powerless women with a phony crime. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Trump’s favorite slander against Robert Mueller’s investigation has a very long history.," 26 Jan. 2019 The Fifth Amendment does not bar successive prosecutions in all situations, but that does not mean Congress is powerless to enact additional statutory protections. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "The Supreme Court Was Right to Uphold the Dual-Sovereignty Doctrine," 19 June 2019 The Tigers, still without Miguel Cabrera, were powerless for much of the trip. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire keeps club focused on competing," 23 May 2018 When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico last summer, Richard Santiago and his family toiled in the swelter of a powerless apartment for weeks as mosquitoes swarmed their flooded home. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Warehouse District: How West Palm Beach’s newest nightlife village found suds, spirits and ‘soul’," 6 June 2019 Without giving too much away, their dynamic takes a sharp 180-degree turn in the season two premiere; Villanelle is now vulnerable and powerless. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "Killing Eve Is Made for Women By Women, and It Shows," 8 Apr. 2019 The girls and women who reported abuse by Epstein, meanwhile, were markedly powerless. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 He was forced to watch as his Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs, rendered powerless by a nasty hip injury. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "The Early Returns on Isaiah Thomas's Return," 11 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of powerless

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for powerless

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for powerless

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

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More Definitions for powerless

powerless

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of powerless

: having no power : unable to do something or to stop something

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on powerless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for powerless

Spanish Central: Translation of powerless

Nglish: Translation of powerless for Spanish Speakers

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