Definition of powerless in English:



  • often with infinitive Without ability, influence, or power.

    ‘troops were powerless to stop last night's shooting’
    • ‘They kept floating upwards and at first, even with my weight belt on, I was powerless to stop them.’
    • ‘League clubs appear powerless to stop their top stars leaving, but a decade ago, the boot was on the other foot.’
    • ‘Many residents, who have had all their tyres slashed, say police seem powerless to stop it.’
    • ‘Many don't even know there's a code of ethics, or if they do, feel powerless to enforce it.’
    • ‘This gradually ebbed as they seemed powerless to prevent their opponents decamping in their half.’
    • ‘They are laughing because, like us, they are powerless to dream up anything better to do.’
    • ‘They do and we are powerless to stop it, like brittle ships fighting against waves during a storm.’
    • ‘British politicians think that we are powerless to resist the temptations of convenience food.’
    • ‘He feels helpless and powerless to do anything to change things for the better.’
    • ‘These could be extremely damaging to local economies, which felt powerless to influence them.’
    • ‘Hundreds of people were kept awake in their beds by an all-night party because police were powerless to act.’
    • ‘But the police said they were powerless to deal with them if they hadn't committed a crime.’
    • ‘I could hear myself snapping at my daughter and bullying my husband but I was powerless to stop.’
    • ‘The Government can control some areas of policy and are powerless to control others.’
    • ‘If the developers decide to put the road on part of the track bed then the town council will be powerless to stop them.’
    • ‘They probably want to force their own ideas on a general public that is deemed powerless to stop them.’
    • ‘Many communities, especially those near schools, feel powerless to stop the march of the masts.’
    • ‘He knew what was going to happen next, and the worse thing was, he was powerless to stop it.’
    • ‘This is set to take place on December 19 and the board seems powerless to stop it.’
    • ‘I had my every move recorded and felt powerless to stop the intimidation.’
    impotent, helpless, without power, ineffectual, inadequate, ineffective, with no say, useless, defenceless, vulnerable, weak, feeble, paralysed
    View synonyms