helpless

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English helples, from Old English *helplēas (helpless), equivalent to help +‎ -less. Compare Dutch hulpeloos (helpless), German hilflos (helpless), Swedish hjälplös (helpless).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈhɛlplɪs/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: help‧less

Adjective[edit]

helpless (comparative more helpless, superlative most helpless)

  1. Unable to defend oneself.
  2. Unable to act without help.
  3. Uncontrollable.
    a helpless urge
  4. (obsolete) From which there is no possibility of being saved.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene
      For, while they fly that gulf's devouring jawes,
      They on the rock are rent and sunck in helplesse wawes.

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]