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defenseless

Someone who's defenseless is vulnerable and unprotected. Babies need to be taken care of because they're completely defenseless.

A brand new chess player is somewhat defenseless against an experienced player, and a kitten is defenseless without its mother's fierce protection. Con men sometimes target people they see as defenseless, like the very elderly. The word defenseless dates from the 16th century, combining defense, "action of guarding or protecting," from the Latin defendere, "protect," and -less, "without or lacking."

Definitions of defenseless
  1. adjective
    lacking protection or support
    “a defenseless child”
    synonyms: defenceless
    vulnerable
    susceptible to attack
  2. adjective
    having no protecting or concealing cover
    synonyms: naked
    unprotected
    lacking protection or defense
  3. adjective
    lacking weapons for self-defense
    synonyms: defenceless
    unarmed
    (used of persons or the military) not having or using arms
  4. adverb
    without defense
Word Family
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