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From helpless +‎ -ness.


helplessness (usually uncountable, plural helplessnesses)

  1. The state of being helpless.
    • 1950, L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics[1], New Era Publications, published 1999, →ISBN, →OCLC, page 10:
      From the most ancient times to the present, in the crudest primitive tribe or the most magnificently ornamented civilization, man has found himself in a state of awed helplessness when confronted by the phenomena of strange illnesses or aberrations.
    • 2021 October 8, Metroid Dread, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, scene: Adam Briefing, level/area: Cataris:
      ADAM: 'You are faced with overwhelming power. Accept your helplessness.'
  2. A feeling of inadequacy or impotence.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      Captain Edward Carlisle, soldier as he was, martinet as he was, felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, her alluring smile ; he could not tell what this prisoner might do.


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