Definition of powerlessness in US English:



  • Lack of ability, influence, or power.

    ‘the feeling of powerlessness due to poverty’
    ‘the minute I admitted powerlessness over my compulsion, I felt relief’
    • ‘She turns her attention away from the commercial aspect, pointing towards the powerlessness that weather instills.’
    • ‘Gangs of older boys acted out their feelings of powerlessness against younger, more vulnerable boys.’
    • ‘His critique of landlord powerlessness rests on the belief that aristocratic rule and estate ownership are ends in themselves.’
    • ‘The domination that she exerts over her students seems to be an obvious compensation for her powerlessness at home.’
    • ‘Silence, pause, stillness, the impossibility of explanation: all suggest the powerlessness of narrative to fill the 'long blank'.’
    • ‘She has stated the impossibility of bringing the presence of the parents into the present moment, the powerlessness of art to deliver such a presence.’
    • ‘You have to dig awfully deep to get to the hurt and the pain and the powerlessness.’
    • ‘The voice of powerlessness tells another kind of fiction: the illusion.’
    • ‘She often writes about the powerlessness of women.’
    • ‘Her resistance to Dracula derives from frustrating experiences of powerlessness.’