Definition of helplessness in US English:

helplessness

noun

  • Inability to defend oneself or to act effectively.

    ‘worst of all is the feeling of helplessness’
    • ‘His words clearly expressed the helplessness of some local businesses investing abroad.’
    • ‘These faces tell a story of loss, of despair, and of complete helplessness.’
    • ‘Optimism turns to pessimism and a growing sense of helplessness as funds are depleted and rejection letters arrive.’
    • ‘He watched her with a mingled feeling of helplessness, admiration, and hate.’
    • ‘The captain told of the anguish and helplessness experienced when injured crew are taken into the care of people outside of the navy's control.’
    • ‘His face expresses bewildered helplessness, reminding us that the photographer must either choose to lend a helpful hand or snap the photo.’
    • ‘What this film does get right is the utter helplessness of man when pitted against a shark in a battle of life or death.’
    • ‘The proprietor spreads his hands in a gesture of helplessness.’
    • ‘All of them plead helplessness due to lack of funds and lack of manpower.’
    • ‘I can remember well my bewilderment and sense of helplessness when given the task of identifying a topic, posing 'the question', creating hypotheses, and identifying an appropriate research methodology.’

Pronunciation

helplessness

/ˈhɛlpləsnəs//ˈhelpləsnəs/