Definition of helpless in English:


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  • 1Unable to defend oneself or to act without help.

    ‘the cubs are born blind and helpless’
    • ‘I am a police captain and feel totally helpless as I am unable to help my city and my family.’
    • ‘Why do we decide it is none of our business or that we are helpless to do anything about it?’
    • ‘Is there anything worse than watching someone you love have to suffer while you're helpless to do anything to help?’
    • ‘He feels helpless and powerless to do anything to change things for the better.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, I wanted her to know that she is not at all helpless and vulnerable.’
    • ‘Have a heart and spare a thought for the defenceless, helpless victims and their families.’
    • ‘A person, a society and a country which is weak and helpless has no choice but to resort to violence.’
    • ‘In the face of such irresistible destruction, we all feel weak and helpless.’
    • ‘They are on the receiving end, or on the sidelines, feeling helpless and vulnerable.’
    • ‘An American soldier had been murdered right in front of him, and he was helpless to do anything about it.’
    • ‘I was helpless to do anything but pray to God for her salvation.’
    • ‘Yet humanists should have the capability to defend the rights of the most helpless members of society.’
    • ‘I am left to watch and feel desperate if not helpless in this small world in which I am unable to do more than pray.’
    • ‘He awoke terrified and helpless in a hospital bed, covered in bandages and unable to move his legs.’
    • ‘He was very old, but she could tell by watching him walk that he was in no way helpless or weak.’
    • ‘Don't overprotect your child - it may only make him feel more vulnerable and helpless.’
    • ‘Only at the end of the book does he admit that he feels at home among the most vulnerable and helpless people.’
    • ‘Being with Lydie when she was so weak and helpless caused Jamie to become distressed.’
    • ‘He felt helpless because he could not do anything to save innocent lives and bring succour to them.’
    • ‘I felt frustrated and helpless and just wanted to see if there was anything I could do.’
    dependent, incapable, powerless, impotent, weak, weakly, feeble
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    1. 1.1Uncontrollable.
      ‘they burst into helpless laughter’
      • ‘Within moments, we would be dissolved into hopeless, helpless, joyful laughter.’
      • ‘These three had the same effect on me as she had on Prince Charles: they reduced me to helpless laughter.’
      • ‘I used to read it aloud to my little brother, and we'd collapse into helpless laughter.’
      • ‘The helpless laughter of audiences gives him the approval which he was denied as a child.’
      • ‘My colleague and I looked at each other and then dissolved into helpless laughter.’



/ˈhelpləs/ /ˈhɛlpləs/