Origin of impotent
Examples from the Web for impotently
All while the international community observed, if not passively, impotently.
And yet the silly old woman felt a lack, as she impotently watched Rachel leave the kitchen.The Price of Love|Arnold Bennett
Clutching wildly and impotently at his aggressor, Hughes felt his strength failing.The Ruined Cities of Zululand|Hugh Mulleneux Walmsley
This was resented, but impotently, by the various sovereigns.Invention|Bradley A. Fiske
British Dictionary definitions for impotently
Word Origin and History for impotently
late 14c., "physically weak, enfeebled, crippled," from Old French impotent "powerless, weak, incapable," from Latin imponentem (nominative impotens) "lacking control, powerless," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + ponentem (nominative potens) "potent" (see potent).
Meaning "having no power to accomplish anything" is from mid-15c.; that of "completely lacking in sexual power" (of males) is from mid-15c. Middle English also had a native term for this: Cunt-beaten (mid-15c.). The figurative sense in Latin was "without self-control, headstrong, violent." Related: Impotently.