Definition of powerless in English:



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

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