Definition of helplessly in US English:

helplessly

adverb

  • 1With no ability to act or help oneself.

    ‘workers watched helplessly as black smoke engulfed the building’
    ‘he now lies helplessly in the intensive care unit’
    • ‘She stares helplessly at the computer screen.’
    • ‘The play intimately invites us to share the confusion of two lovers who watch helplessly as their relationship crumbles.’
    • ‘He would neither pointlessly defy nor helplessly flee the real monsters of his upbringing.’
    • ‘She gestured helplessly to the limp form she was holding.’
    • ‘Dangling there, suspended from a horizontal beam of petrified wood, his legs flailed helplessly beneath him.’
    • ‘They watched helplessly while their children were forced to emigrate.’
    • ‘Lifeboat crew were called into action when they went to the aid of three elderly fishermen drifting helplessly.’
    • ‘The writer stares helplessly at a blank sheet of paper.’
    • ‘The boats often get lost or break down, drifting helplessly in the Atlantic or capsizing in rough seas.’
    • ‘A group of stunned surfers spotted the basking shark thrashing helplessly in a sand bar.’
    1. 1.1 In an uncontrollable manner.
      ‘they fell about, giggling helplessly’
      • ‘His sister was laughing helplessly and trying to sip her tea at the same time.’
      • ‘The final four minutes of the movie displays the plight of the kid, and ends with the child crying helplessly.’
      • ‘He's made me laugh helplessly and often.’
      • ‘It was night and a cool breeze started him shivering helplessly.’
      • ‘When I met him, I suddenly, helplessly, had a surge of fond feeling for him.’
      • ‘Once he starts recruiting his own army, the film spins helplessly out of control.’
      • ‘On second hearing, you will find yourself helplessly singing along.’
      • ‘The two young women end up giggling helplessly over the melodramatic dialogue.’
      • ‘She wept helplessly in the corner of the room.’
      • ‘There will not be any redemption or easy answers as we slide helplessly towards an agonizing end to a near masterpiece.’

Pronunciation

helplessly

/ˈhɛlpləsli//ˈhelpləslē/