helplessness

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

helpless +‎ -ness

Noun[edit]

helplessness (usually uncountable, plural helplessnesses)

  1. The state of being helpless.
  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 639762314, page 0105:
      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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