at the mercy of

Idioms & Phrases

at the mercy of

  1. Also, . Subject to the power of, helpless against, as in The captured rebels were at the mercy of the army commander. [Late 1500s]

  2. Without any protection against, as in On top of Mount Washington we were at the mercy of the elements. [Late 1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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