powerless

Powerless means lacking strength, ability, or authority. If nothing you do stops your dog from barking, you're powerless to make her be quiet.

A person who doesn't have the power they need to accomplish something can be described as powerless. A flustered substitute teacher is powerless to silence a chattering classroom, and citizens who don't vote are powerless to change their elected representatives in Congress. Power, "strength or vigor," can be traced back to a root meaning "power" or "lord." When you add the suffix -less, or "lacking," you get powerless.

Definitions of powerless
  1. adjective
    lacking power
    Synonyms:
    ineffective, ineffectual, uneffective
    not producing an intended effect
    impotent
    lacking power or ability
    feeble, nerveless
    lacking strength
    helpless, incapacitated
    lacking in or deprived of strength or power
    low-powered
    having little power to do work
    weak
    not having authority, political strength, or governing power
    weak
    wanting in physical strength
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    Antonyms:
    powerful
    having great power or force or potency or effect
    effective, effectual, efficacious
    producing or capable of producing an intended result or having a striking effect
    potent, stiff, strong
    having a strong physiological or chemical effect
    all-powerful, almighty, omnipotent
    having unlimited power
    coercive
    serving or intended to coerce
    compelling
    driving or forcing
    mighty
    having or showing great strength or force or intensity
    muscular
    having or suggesting great physical power or force
    potent, strong
    having or wielding force or authority
    puissant
    powerful
    regent
    acting or functioning as a regent or ruler
    regnant, reigning, ruling
    exercising power or authority
    strong
    having strength or power greater than average or expected
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