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1. Lacking strength or power; helpless and totally ineffectual.
2. Lacking legal or other authority.

pow′er·less·ly adv.
pow′er·less·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.powerlessly - in a powerless manner
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈpaʊəlɪslɪ] advcon impotenza
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
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References in periodicals archive ?
But it was captain Tim Paine was guilty of the most irresponsible stroke, pulling Broad's short ball powerlessly to Burns in the deep.
But it was captain Tim Paine who was guilty of the most irresponsible stroke, pulling Broad's short ball powerlessly to Burns in the deep.
The crimes committed by the Council put those who "recognized the ruling junta and accepted its legitimacy in an "embarrassing moral position as they watch powerlessly the blood baths against the defenceless people".
Moreover, the Hashemite family which has used its custodianship to signify its care for the Palestinian cause, would have to answer to millions of disempowered Palestinians powerlessly observing their chance for recognition disappear.
Reacting per the dictates of the complex, she waits powerlessly as strong emotions run their course.
Eighty years ago, the guardians of global order looked on powerlessly as expansionist forces in Europe, Asia and Africa pierced what faith remained in the ideal of international law or in the League of Nations.
On the obverse, it speaks to the Palestinians' feeling of being voiceless, their grievances shut down and shut out in the centers of Western power and media, their freedom viciously denied in their own homes and homeland, unfairness and accusation ceaselessly heaped upon their tormented lives as they powerlessly witness the murder and theft of Palestine unfolding with open impunity and closed moral conscience.
How many people suffer injustice, standing by powerlessly while others divvy up the good things of this life.
Lim said she was moved to join after watching powerlessly as a friend's house was razed to the ground.
In the most painful cases of all, they found people living powerlessly on the verge of homelessness, their health suffering thanks to damp and mould - constantly in fear of the future.
She abused the power of her office and used it to mete out a 'reign of terror' similar to that of a repressive state, resulting in moral distress for staff members who powerlessly tried to deliver to her the outcome of a project they did not believe in.
Rather than powerlessly worrying for five hours a month while at work, an employee can use those hours to take effective steps toward improving their financial health.