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helpless

[help-lis] /ˈhɛlp lɪs/
adjective
1.
unable to help oneself; weak or dependent:
a helpless invalid.
2.
deprived of strength or power; powerless; incapacitated:
They were helpless with laughter.
3.
affording no help.
Origin of helpless
1125-1175
1125-75; Middle English; see help, -less
Related forms
helplessly, adverb
helplessness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for helpless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It seems to him that he has never been so angry in all his life, and never so helpless.

    Floyd Grandon's Honor Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • I remembered the helpless kid that Paralus confided to my care.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • It looks as if you had forgotten that I was with you—as if you were left alone and helpless.

    The Dead Secret Wilkie Collins
  • But she could not get her mother's feeling of him as a helpless, dependent thing.

  • He had been placed at the mine to defend it, and he was helpless to direct the men.

    With Wolseley to Kumasi F.S. Brereton
British Dictionary definitions for helpless

helpless

/ˈhɛlplɪs/
adjective
1.
unable to manage independently
2.
made powerless or weak: they were helpless from so much giggling
3.
without help
Derived Forms
helplessly, adverb
helplessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for helpless
adj.

"unable to act for oneself," c.1200, from help (n.) + -less. Related: Helplessly; helplessness. In Middle English and later sometimes also "unable to give help, affording no help" (late 14c.), but this was never common.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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13
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