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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 helplessness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His lips were trembling with the helplessness of himself against the power of a great trust.

    The Witness Grace Livingston Hill Lutz
  • We cannot stop making them, but we can give them a name that conceals our helplessness.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • She signified her helplessness with a quick and dainty movement of her hands.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • But she would go on, until in my helplessness I remarked how beautiful the day had been.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • It is even demoralising, for it engenders a feeling or helplessness.

    A Veldt Official Bertram Mitford
British Dictionary definitions for helplessness

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 helplessness

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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17
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