Definition of impotence in US English:

impotence

noun

  • 1Inability to take effective action; helplessness.

    ‘people speak constantly of their social and political impotence’
    • ‘The idealistic theatre troupe travels to Sarajevo, and its fate confirms the impotence of art in the presence of ammo.’
    • ‘We're too cowardly to actually commit insurrection, and its impossibility becomes a grimly mocking reminder of our impotence.’
    • ‘The protagonist is seen as colluding with in her own downfall due to her own spineless impotence.’
    • ‘The figures suggest strung puppets, and underline the subjects' impotence as playthings of a malign destiny.’
    • ‘In general the hero must pass through moments of impotence, internal or external.’
    • ‘Politicians have very accurately gauged the impotence of writers; they don't give a damn for their opinions.’
    • ‘His performance is expertly handled, conveying the right amount of impotence coupled with a slow, simmering fury.’
    • ‘They tried to suppress their paralyzing experiences of shame, terror and impotence.’
    • ‘The book focuses on the problem of efficacy and the possible impotence of personal dissent.’
    • ‘The artists evince a political frustration apparently inseparable from a sense of personal impotence.’
  • 2Inability in a man to achieve an erection or orgasm.

    ‘few men suffering from impotence feel confident enough to ask their GP for advice’
    • ‘Despite his seeming impotence (being paralyzed), the main character is able to prove his masculinity through his confrontation with the killer.’
    • ‘In the film, the appearance of the tower behind the woman's head signifies the protagonist's arousal; his failure to get up the tower at the cloister signifies his impotence.’
    • ‘The herbal prescription for Ben's impotence, to "eat a bowl of tea," comes from the annals of traditional Chinese medicine.’
    • ‘William, who was in his fifties, was discovered to be suffering from impotence.’
    • ‘Eventually tragedy hits the family unit and all the issues of incest, impotence, and illegal activity come to the forefront.’
    • ‘He visits her and confesses that his underlying ailment is impotence.’
    • ‘Bill jokes about impotence, and he feels bad.’
    • ‘"Orquito" in Spanish means swollen testicles, a cause of impotence, the husband's condition.’
    • ‘The themes of transvestism, impotence, and homosexuality were a lot more risque back then than they are now.’
    • ‘The man and his wife are going through some tough times, especially since he's experiencing one of the side effects of the Prozac (read: impotence).’

Pronunciation

impotence

/ˈimpədəns/