One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Without counsel or advice; foolish, heedless; resourceless, perplexed, confused.
Old English; earliest use found in Daniel. Cognate with or formed similarly to Middle Dutch raedloos, radeloos (Dutch radeloos), Old High German ratelōs (German ratlos), Old Icelandic ráðlauss, Old Swedish radhlös (Swedish rådlös), Danish raadløs (now rådløs), all showing a similar range of meanings from the Germanic base of rede + the Germanic base of -less. Compare later unredy, unready.
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