- unable to produce an effect: a disease against which modern medicine is virtually powerless.
- lacking power to act; helpless: His legs crumpled, and he was powerless to rise.
Origin of powerless
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. ineffective. 2. feeble, impotent, prostrate, infirm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for powerlessness
Adding to the feeling of powerlessness for the woman is that Cosby is a beloved celebrity.
In our conversation, the terms “power” and “powerlessness” came up frequently.
For her part, Melissa shows the frustration and powerlessness of a woman devoted to a man she no longer understands – or trusts.War Is About More Than Heroes, Martyrs, and Patriots
Nathan Bradley Bethea
November 12, 2014
In a thoroughly corrupt world, power may be the only interesting thing and powerlessness the only attractive thing.Daenerys Goes to Washington: The Modern Politics of ‘Game of Thrones’
April 8, 2014
I understand the powerlessness, confusion, and sickening despair.The Real Juvenile Offenders
June 22, 2013
It was heart-breaking to her to realise her powerlessness, when he could so easily empty his purse.The Dream
All other goodness is but too often an idleness or powerlessness of will.Reflections
Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld
But the colonel's despondent look expressed his powerlessness.The Downfall
"We've been, sir," said the Archdeacon, and then followed an explanation of the Bishop's powerlessness.The Christian
I never felt my powerlessness so much as I have since you come.Janet of the Dunes
Harriet T. Comstock
- without power or authority
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for powerlessness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper