Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

powerless

[pou-er-lis] /ˈpaʊ ər lɪs/
adjective
1.
unable to produce an effect:
a disease against which modern medicine is virtually powerless.
2.
lacking power to act; helpless:
His legs crumpled, and he was powerless to rise.
Origin of powerless
1545-1555
First recorded in 1545-55; power + -less
Related forms
powerlessly, adverb
powerlessness, noun
Synonyms
1. ineffective. 2. feeble, impotent, prostrate, infirm.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for powerlessness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was heart-breaking to her to realise her powerlessness, when he could so easily empty his purse.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • 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 Emile Zola
  • "We've been, sir," said the Archdeacon, and then followed an explanation of the Bishop's powerlessness.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • I never felt my powerlessness so much as I have since you come.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock
British Dictionary definitions for powerlessness

powerless

/ˈpaʊəlɪs/
adjective
1.
without power or authority
Derived Forms
powerlessly, adverb
powerlessness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for powerlessness

powerless

adj.

early 15c., "lacking might or fortitude," from power (n.) + -less. Related: Powerlessly; powerlessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for powerless

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for powerlessness

18
21
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for powerlessness