helpless

[ help-lis ]
/ ˈhɛlp lɪs /

adjective

unable to help oneself; weak or dependent: a helpless invalid.
deprived of strength or power; powerless; incapacitated: They were helpless with laughter.
affording no help.

Nearby words

  1. helpfully,
  2. helping,
  3. helping hand,
  4. helping verb,
  5. helpingly,
  6. helplessly,
  7. helpline,
  8. helpmann,
  9. helpmann, sir robert,
  10. helpmate

Origin of helpless

Middle English word dating back to 1125–75; see origin at help, -less

Related formshelp·less·ly, adverbhelp·less·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for helplessness


British Dictionary definitions for helplessness

helpless

/ (ˈhɛlplɪs) /

adjective

unable to manage independently
made powerless or weakthey were helpless from so much giggling
without help
Derived Formshelplessly, adverbhelplessness, 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

Word Origin and History for helplessness

helpless

adj.

"unable to act for oneself," c.1200, from help (n.) + -less. Related: Helplessly; helplessness. In Middle English and later sometimes also "unable to give help, affording no help" (late 14c.), but this was never common.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper