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.
- pow·er·less·ly, adverb
- pow·er·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use powerless in a sentence
That left the agency powerless to stop states from filling in the vacuum with their own legislation.California’s net neutrality law is broadband companies’ worst nightmare | Nicolás Rivero | February 25, 2021 | Quartz
In its wake, I let dozens of texts go unanswered, powerless to send a “Hey, catch up later,” but too drained to have a conversation.
Living in your powerless homeNow it’s time to think about what life will look like in your survival space.The safest ways to stay warm during a power outage | John Kennedy | February 18, 2021 | Popular-Science
They had to rely on Salsman to be their advocate, to represent them at a time they felt powerless, and instead they were preyed upon.
My silence, I realized, was due in part to my sense that I was powerless.The Toxicity of Restaurant Kitchens Is Exactly Why I Never Reported Abuses | Lindsey Danis | February 4, 2021 | Eater
He had been scared and powerless to protect himself, and Moscow had been silent.
While quarantined, she was seemingly powerless to challenge her banishment to a tent in Newark.
Unable to make it to a hospital, or too afraid, parents are dying at home alongside kids who are powerless to save them.
But the malpractice system is not robust in China, and patients feel powerless.Will US Health Care Follow in China’s Bloody Footsteps? | Daniela Drake | September 21, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Hanifa and her father and mother and brother spent 10 days on the mountain, fearing for the girls, but powerless to help them.Hanifa's Story: Her Five Sisters Taken by ISIS to Be Sold or Worse | Christine van den Toorn | August 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
As men fixed in the grip of nightmare, we were powerless—unable to do anything but wait.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
But for the most part even industry and endowment were powerless against the inertia of custom and the dead-weight of environment.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
The new forces controlled by mankind have been powerless as yet to remove want and destitution, hard work and social discontent.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
The man who allows himself to be crucified is no true saviour, because by allowing it he renders himself powerless to save.The Everlasting Arms | Joseph Hocking
Now they were fugitive and nearly powerless, and I knew the Zervs were few in number from my own observation.Valley of the Croen | Lee Tarbell
British Dictionary definitions for powerless
without power or authority
- 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