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.

powerful, influential
Derived words:
powerlessness N-UNCOUNT

If we can't bring our problems under control, feelings of powerlessness and despair often ensue.

2) ADJ-GRADED: ADJ to-inf If you are powerless to do something, you are completely unable to do it.

People are being murdered every day and I am powerless to stop it...

He was sympathetic, but powerless to help.


English dictionary. 2008.

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