powerless

powerless, impotent both mean unable to effect one's purpose, intention, or end.
Powerless denotes merely lack of power or efficacy which is often temporary or relative to a specific purpose or situation
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he suddenly found himself powerless to move

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powerless as an infant— De Quincey

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I hope that the luxuries of this palatial mansion are powerless to corrupt your heart— Shaw

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that mood of hopeless apathy that comes over men powerless to help themselves— Nordhoff & Hall

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Impotent (see also STERILE) implies not only powerlessness but positive weakness or, especially, complete ineffectiveness
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an angry little spitfire sea continually . . . thrashes with impotent irascibility— Stevenson

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impotent aristocrats talking about the code of chivalry but unable to bring it to life— Time

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terrible and impotent rage— Wilde

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Analogous words: inert, *inactive, passive, supine: feeble, *weak, infirm, decrepit
Antonyms: powerful: efficacious
Contrasted words: *effective, efficient

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Powerless — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El término Powerless puede hacer referencia a: Powerless, episodio de la serie de televisión Héroes. Powerless (Say what you want), tema musical de la cantante Nelly Furtado. Powerless, título de una serie limitada… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Powerless — may refer to the following:* Powerless (Say What You Want), a song by Nelly Furtado * Powerless (Heroes), an episode of Heroes …   Wikipedia

  • Powerless — Pow er*less, a. Destitute of power, force, or energy; weak; impotent; not able to produce any effect. {Pow er*less*ly}, adv. {Pow er*less*ness}, n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • powerless — I adjective abrogated, adynamic, asthenic, canceled, crippled, debilitated, decrepit, defenseless, deposed, disabled, disqualified, drooping, droopy, effete, emasculated, exhausted, faint, faintish, feeble, figurehead, flaccid, forceless, fragile …   Law dictionary

  • powerless — (adj.) early 15c., lacking might or fortitude, from POWER (Cf. power) (n.) + LESS (Cf. less). Related: Powerlessly; powerlessness …   Etymology dictionary

  • powerless — [adj] weak; unable blank, chicken*, debilitated, defenseless, dependent, disabled, disenfranchised, etiolated, feeble, frail, gutless, helpless, impotent, incapable, incapacitated, ineffective, ineffectual, inert, infirm, out of gas*, paralyzed,… …   New thesaurus

  • powerless — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ without ability, influence, or power. DERIVATIVES powerlessly adverb powerlessness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • powerless — [pou′ər lis] adj. without power; weak, feeble, unable, not empowered, etc. powerlessly adv. powerlessness n …   English World dictionary

  • powerless — [[t]pa͟ʊə(r)ləs[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Someone who is powerless is unable to control or influence events. If you don t have money, you re powerless. ...political and economic systems that keep women poor and powerless. Syn: helpless Ant: powerful,… …   English dictionary

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