Definition of helpless in English:



  • 1Unable to defend oneself or to act without help.

    ‘the cubs are born blind and helpless’
    • ‘A person, a society and a country which is weak and helpless has no choice but to resort to violence.’
    • ‘He awoke terrified and helpless in a hospital bed, covered in bandages and unable to move his legs.’
    • ‘Have a heart and spare a thought for the defenceless, helpless victims and their families.’
    • ‘Why do we decide it is none of our business or that we are helpless to do anything about it?’
    • ‘Being with Lydie when she was so weak and helpless caused Jamie to become distressed.’
    • ‘They are on the receiving end, or on the sidelines, feeling helpless and vulnerable.’
    • ‘Yet humanists should have the capability to defend the rights of the most helpless members of society.’
    • ‘I was helpless to do anything but pray to God for her salvation.’
    • ‘He was very old, but she could tell by watching him walk that he was in no way helpless or weak.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, I wanted her to know that she is not at all helpless and vulnerable.’
    • ‘He felt helpless because he could not do anything to save innocent lives and bring succour to them.’
    • ‘I am a police captain and feel totally helpless as I am unable to help my city and my family.’
    • ‘Don't overprotect your child - it may only make him feel more vulnerable and helpless.’
    • ‘Is there anything worse than watching someone you love have to suffer while you're helpless to do anything to help?’
    • ‘I felt frustrated and helpless and just wanted to see if there was anything I could do.’
    • ‘In the face of such irresistible destruction, we all feel weak and helpless.’
    • ‘He feels helpless and powerless to do anything to change things for the better.’
    • ‘Only at the end of the book does he admit that he feels at home among the most vulnerable and helpless people.’
    • ‘I am left to watch and feel desperate if not helpless in this small world in which I am unable to do more than pray.’
    • ‘An American soldier had been murdered right in front of him, and he was helpless to do anything about it.’
    dependent, incapable, powerless, impotent, weak, weakly, feeble
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Uncontrollable.
      ‘they burst into helpless laughter’
      • ‘Within moments, we would be dissolved into hopeless, helpless, joyful laughter.’
      • ‘These three had the same effect on me as she had on Prince Charles: they reduced me to helpless laughter.’
      • ‘I used to read it aloud to my little brother, and we'd collapse into helpless laughter.’
      • ‘My colleague and I looked at each other and then dissolved into helpless laughter.’
      • ‘The helpless laughter of audiences gives him the approval which he was denied as a child.’