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1. Lacking physical strength or vigor; weak.
2. Lacking in power, as to act effectively; helpless: "Technology without morality is barbarous; morality without technology is impotent" (Freeman J. Dyson).
3. Incapable of sexual intercourse because of an inability to achieve or sustain an erection.
4. Obsolete Lacking self-restraint.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin impotēns, impotent- : in-, not; see in-1 + potēns, potent; see potent.]

im′po·tent·ly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.impotently - in a helpless mannerimpotently - in a helpless manner; "the crowd watched him helplessly"
References in classic literature ?
The severest pointed harpoon, the sharpest lance darted by the strongest human arm, impotently rebounds from it.
Yet mark his perfect self-contentment, and hence learn this lesson, that to be self-contented is to be vile and ignorant, and that to aspire is better than to be blindly and impotently happy.
About eleven o'clock they were passing over the basin of Imenge, and the tribes scattered over the adjacent hills were impotently menacing the Victoria with their weapons.
Then Lerumie took to the main rigging, leaving Jerry impotently to rage on the deck beneath him.
The infuriated beast, pulled up and backwards until he stood upon his hind legs, struggled impotently in this unnatural position.
The other boys were flying around him now, flouting, scornful; and he staggered about the deck striking up at them impotently, his mind was no longer with them; it was slouching in the playing fields of long ago, or being sent up [to the headmaster] for good, or watching the wall-game from a famous wall.
She dealt the luckless Sara a glance that would have slain her on the spot could glances kill, stumbled lamely and impotently through the few remaining lines of her recitation, and fled with crimson cheeks to hide her mortification in the little corner that had been curtained off for a dressing-room.
It had lasted only seconds, Bert was dancing on the edge of the slippery slope and mocking the vanquished who had slid impotently to the bottom.
As the West ties itself in policy knots, objecting loudly but impotently to Assad regime war crimes while trying to end (at long last) a three-plus-year war against a collection of armed rapists, pickpockets and bank robbers in eastern Syria, Moscow and Tehran attend to business.
Mr Kenyatta's choice is stark: arrest Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka for treason or impotently ignore them.
After the disintegration of the USSR, Russian politicians watched impotently as a triumphant West encroached on its areas of influence.
In our offices we might have a better coffee machine and free fruit but we find it increasingly hard to get anything done, impotently subjected to constant interruptions in vast open-plan savannahs.