not potent; lacking power or ability.
utterly unable (to do something).
without force or effectiveness.
lacking bodily strength or physically helpless.
(of a male) unable to attain or sustain a penile erection.
(especially of a male) sterile.
Obsolete. without restraint.
an impotent person: therapy for sexual impotents.
- im·po·tent·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use impotent in a sentence
The problem is clear—substantial government reforms in the face of impotent majority opposition can destabilize a democracy.Keep the Filibuster, There Are Better Ways to Reform a Broken System | David French | March 23, 2021 | Time
All those other parties are small and mostly impotent because the two major parties have been successful at constraining upstarts.What happens to an entrenched two-party system when one party undermines the system? | Philip Bump | February 12, 2021 | Washington Post
They have watched in impotent fury as the coronavirus pandemic has boosted governing parties such as Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and incumbent leaders such as Giuseppe Conte in Italy, pushing them to the political margins.
Businesses, if no longer quite oblivious to global warming, seemed impotent to make changes that might slow it.Capitalism is in crisis. To save it, we need to rethink economic growth. | Katie McLean | October 14, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
Chevy Chase’s bumbling Gerald Ford made America see the accomplished athlete as awkward and impotent.
As the protagonist gets herself off in front of her impotent husband, she moans “Oh, Gronky.”‘A Gronking to Remember’ Speed Read: 8 Naughtiest Bits | Emily Shire | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
He was prescribed a course of hormone pills that caused him to grow breasts and rendered him impotent.The Castration of Alan Turing, Britain’s Code-Breaking WWII Hero | Clive Irving | November 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Of course, what people like Erickson and Sarah Palin want the House to do is impeach Obama, not file an impotent lawsuit.Obama Should Counter John Boehner’s Lawsuit—and Here’s How He Can Do It | Dean Obeidallah | July 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Chicago is a city imperiled by impotent leadership that is unwilling to face down this crisis.
This is a bad plan, and totally impotent when it comes to preventing daytime break-ins.
As so much time has elapsed since the orders were given, the persons that ordered them are quite impotent.Life of Richard Trevithick, Volume II (of 2) | Francis Trevithick
For the third time she watched a coronet slip through her strong determined impotent fingers.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
Hamburg writhed impotent at his feet and the "heavy arm of justice fell on the canaille."Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
Dine darted after him to box his ears, words being impotent, and Tessa went into the house.Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline | Jennie M. Drinkwater
She clasped her thin hands in a frenzy of impotent rage—with Anne Ashton had lain the real triumph, with herself the sacrifice.Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
British Dictionary definitions for impotent
(when postpositive, often takes an infinitive) lacking sufficient strength; powerless
(esp of males) unable to perform sexual intercourse: See erectile impotence
obsolete lacking self-control; unrestrained
- impotence, impotency or impotentness, noun
- impotently, adverb
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