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Powerless   /pˈaʊərləs/   Listen
Powerless

adjective
1.
Lacking power.



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"Powerless" Quotes from Famous Books



... figure of a woman white as a wraith and wonderful with a sort of holy passion darted from the grasp of a man who sought to detain her, and stood before them, palpitating with a protest which for a moment she seemed powerless to utter. ...
— The Circular Study • Anna Katharine Green

... heaped themselves up into towers of ruin. The cordage flacked, the strong ribs creaked; like a beast over-burdened the whole ship groaned, wallowing in a sea-trough without breath to climb. So we endured for many days, a straggling host of men, ordinarily capable, powerless now beneath that dumb tyrant the sky. Where else could be our refuge? We all looked to King Richard—by day to his royal ensign, by night to the great wax candle which he always had lighted and stuck in a lantern. His commands were ...
— The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay • Maurice Hewlett

... tax-gatherers to the land. In this great cycle of give and take of the elements, the affairs of men cut but a momentary figure; how puny they are, how transient! How the great changes, which in time amount to revolutions, go on over our heads and under our feet, and we rarely heed them, and are powerless to stay them! A summer shower carries the soil of my side-hill, which is mainly disintegrated Silurian rock and shale, into the river, and some millions of years hence, when it has become stratified rock, and been lifted up into the light of day, some other, and, ...
— Time and Change • John Burroughs

... since my departure, Abou Saood and his people had ridiculed the authority of my commandant, Major Abdullah; and to prove to the natives how powerless he was to protect them, Abou Saood had sent his men to attack Rot Jarma, and they had carried off ...
— Ismailia • Samuel W. Baker

... Wessex. Then, too, closed in the wounded men and the country folk; and the Danes broke and fled towards the ships in disorder. We followed for a little way, and then the thralls ended matters. They say that not one Dane reached the river's bank, beyond which their comrades watched and raged, powerless to help them. ...
— King Alfred's Viking - A Story of the First English Fleet • Charles W. Whistler

... freer world, parts from Johannes because she recognises their human unfitness to take up the burden of tragic sorrow which any union between them must create. The time for such things has not come, and may never come. Thus Johannes is left desolate, powerless to face the unendurable emptiness and decay that lie before him, destroyed by the conflicting loyalties to personal and ideal ends which are fundamental to ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume I • Gerhart Hauptmann

... was correct. Rose came to her senses a moment later, and, trembling and sobbing uncontrolledly, stumbled through the darkness to the woodpile, and sat down on it. For a time she was powerless to move, but when, at length, she did re-enter the cabin, with an armful of wood, although her face was drawn and white, ...
— 'Smiles' - A Rose of the Cumberlands • Eliot H. Robinson

... eighty-four to sixty-nine. In the Senate, with several amendments, and heated debate, it passed by a vote of seventeen to thirteen; but upon being returned to the House for concurrence, the Northern members had heard from their constituents, and the bill was tabled, and its friends were powerless to get it up. ...
— History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George Washington Williams

... seventeen-year-old schoolboy, was now resuming the offensive and was winning all along the line from the first. Lupin's two great adversaries, Shears and Ganimard, were put away. Isidore Beautrelet was disabled. The police were powerless. For the moment there was no one left capable of struggling against ...
— The Hollow Needle • Maurice Leblanc

... down at the ford, which was my stopping-place, a pair of bullocks were crossing the river with a waggon-load of hay; so that the picturesque, the idyllic, and the sentiment of peace were all blended so perfectly as to make me feel that the pen was powerless, and that the painter's brush alone could save the scene from ...
— Two Summers in Guyenne • Edward Harrison Barker

... Washington is hopelessly against us. The huge supplies which leave these shores day by day for England and France will continue. Fresh plants are being laid down for the manufacture of weapons and ammunition to be used against our country. The hand of diplomacy is powerless. We can struggle no longer. Even those who favour our cause are drunk with the joy of the golden harvest they are reaping. This country has spoken once and for all, and its voice is for our ...
— The Pawns Count • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... upon her shores. Contemptible in numbers, shipping and appointments, the concentrated opposition of even a few petty chiefs could have scattered them to the winds, or sent them "howling to their gods". But, wanting in that homogeneity without which a nation must always remain powerless, the invasion of the territory of one individual ruler was often regarded as a matter of no very grave importance to those who were not his immediate subjects; so that from this cause, as well as from, the unhappy dissentions which harrassed the country at the period, ...
— Ridgeway - An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada • Scian Dubh

... bewildered for some minutes of time, while she, with her face hidden, still clung round his knees. "What is it?" at last he said. "I do not understand." But she had no answer to make to him. Her great resolve had been quickly made and quickly carried out, but now the reaction left her powerless. He stooped down to raise her; but when he moved she fell prone upon the ground; he could hear her sobs as though her bosom ...
— Orley Farm • Anthony Trollope

... can the German national school teacher, the German upper-master, the German university professor! You have lagged far behind us, you are hopelessly inferior! Hence your chagrin, your envy, your fear! Powerless to rival us, you foam with hate and rage, you make unblushing calumny your weapon, and would like to exterminate us, to wipe us off the face of the earth, in order to free yourselves from your burden of shame.—PROF. A. LASSON, ...
— Gems (?) of German Thought • Various

... that, taught to think that his one duty was to be magnificently attired, to acquire graceful arts of posture and courtesy, subtly and gently prevented from obeying natural and simple impulses, made powerless—a crowned slave; so that, instead of being the freest and sincerest thing in the world, it became the prisoner of respectability and convention, just a part ...
— The Child of the Dawn • Arthur Christopher Benson

... no longer endure! That I should have ease and comfort, while others suffer... that my father should take part in this mad struggle for money and power, in order to give me a sheltered life! I must make it impossible for that to continue! I must make you understand that all your money is powerless to bring me happiness... that it is poisoning my life ...
— The Machine • Upton Sinclair

... will smash his skull. Men are very foolish animals; and there is no greater mark of their folly than the conspicuous and oft-repeated fact that the clearest vision of the consequences of a course of conduct is powerless to turn a man from it, when once his passions, or his will, or, worse still, his weakness, or, worst of all, his habits, have bound him ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... sport, through a long suite of rooms, till we came at last to one where we were quite alone, and a long way from the company. All at once then Ernst left off his play, and a change was visible in his whole countenance. I augured something amiss, and would gladly have sprung far, far away, but I felt powerless; and then Ernst spoke so from his heart, so fervently, and with such deep tenderness, that he took my heart at once to himself. I laid my hand, although tremblingly, in his, and, almost without knowing what I did, consented to go through life ...
— The Home • Fredrika Bremer

... for my own Church, but not tenderness; I felt dismay at her prospects, anger and scorn at her do-nothing perplexity. I thought that if Liberalism once got a footing within her, it was sure of the victory in the event. I saw that Reformation principles were powerless to rescue her. As to leaving her, the thought never crossed my imagination; still I ever kept before me that there was something greater than the Established Church, and that that was the Church Catholic and Apostolic, ...
— Apologia pro Vita Sua • John Henry Newman

... mind then was that the brutes might have had the decency to have waited until his master was laid in the grave. He felt helpless, powerless. He could not doubt that Bullard was playing with him. And in view of the promise to his master he could do nothing to prevent the crime, the desecration as he felt it to be. He could do nothing but look on in silence while they searched, until they found—But stay! ...
— Till the Clock Stops • John Joy Bell

... came, as usual, from the father, who repeatedly counselled moderation and often made the boy drop his book and turn to something else—which seemed to Keith the worst of all the tyrannies to which he found himself exposed. But most of the time the father was powerless because of his absence from home, and soon Keith learned that his reading formed the only exception to his mother's general refusal to permit any circumvention of ...
— The Soul of a Child • Edwin Bjorkman

... actually greater courage, fortitude, and strength of character than our women of similar age, or even a tougher physical endurance than they. Morally, she is strong, I suspect, only in society, and in the common routine of social affairs, and would be found powerless and timid in any exceptional strait that might call for energy outside of the conventionalities amid ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 60, October 1862 • Various

... knowledge, guilty or innocent, of the abduction of Bessie, until after the Caribbee had sailed; but she felt herself powerless to undo the mischief. If her husband had been on board, she would not have dared to oppose him, he was so violent and savage when she interfered with his plans. She could at least protect the poor girl from insult and injury, and she determined to do this at ...
— Freaks of Fortune - or, Half Round the World • Oliver Optic

... and his legislature sent him into Washington by a vote of three to one. He had been there now twelve years and was just entering upon his third term. Moreover, he had fortified his position; his enemies were now powerless to do him harm; and at the time this story finds him he had constructed a machine which rendered his hold upon his State as unshakable as Gibraltar's famous rock. Patrick Henry Hanway might now be Senator for what space he pleased, and nothing left for that opposing nobility but to glare ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... Juliet, sinking on her knees beside him, and clasping his fettered hands within her own. "I have loved you long and tenderly. I shall see you no more on earth. If my life could ransom yours, I would give it without a sigh; but will is powerless; our hands are tied; we are indeed the creatures of circumstance. All that now remains for us is to submit—to bow with fortitude to the mysterious ways of Providence. To acknowledge, even in our hearts' deep agony, ...
— Mark Hurdlestone - Or, The Two Brothers • Susanna Moodie

... in the form of gifts were far from satisfying him. He wanted to see her, to talk with her, to put into speech shades of feeling so delicate that the written word was powerless to reproduce them. And presently chance aided and abetted him. Mme. Hanska left Wierzchnownia for a summer vacation in Switzerland, and Balzac, on the trail of one of those business opportunities for which he was ever on the watch, was obliged to go to Besancon at precisely the same season. ...
— Honor de Balzac • Albert Keim and Louis Lumet

... I can with my advice, for I know you will not betray me; but at present I am powerless to give you material aid. Every subject of this realm is bound to the autocratic will of the king. It is impossible for any one to get from under ...
— The Land of the Changing Sun • William N. Harben

... in the dark stained wood. The sudden legend startled his blood: he seemed to feel the absent students of the college about him and to shrink from their company. A vision of their life, which his father's words had been powerless to evoke, sprang up before him out of the word cut in the desk. A broad-shouldered student with a moustache was cutting in the letters with a jack-knife, seriously. Other students stood or sat near him laughing at his handiwork. One jogged his elbow. The ...
— A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man • James Joyce

... adjusted, out of gear at the start, overwhelmed with political functions, as incapable of performing their proper duties as their supplementary duties, and, from the very beginning, either powerless or mischievous.[2308] Changes repeatedly marred by arbitrariness from above or from below, set aside or perverted now by the mob and again by the government, inert in the country, oppressive in the towns, we have seen the state ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 5 (of 6) - The Modern Regime, Volume 1 (of 2)(Napoleon I.) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... this for charity's sake," finding his wits. The policeman hovered near, scowling. He was powerless, since the young woman ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... some sort of insight into the psychology of crowds that it can be understood how slight is the action upon them of laws and institutions, how powerless they are to hold any opinions other than those which are imposed upon them, and that it is not with rules based on theories of pure equity that they are to be led, but by seeking what produces an impression on them and what seduces them. For ...
— The Crowd • Gustave le Bon

... gasped as he lunged for her, too swift for her to move a hand. One arm crushed round her like a steel band; the other, hard across her breast and neck, forced her head back. Then she tried to wrestle away. But she was utterly powerless. His dark face bent down closer and closer. Suddenly Ellen ceased trying to struggle. She was like a stricken creature paralyzed by the piercing, hypnotic eyes of a snake. Yet in spite of her terror, if he meant death by her, she ...
— To the Last Man • Zane Grey

... but he was not afraid for himself. He was crushed to the ground by the sickening feeling that he was going to be beaten, that the gang were going to slip through his fingers after all... and he was powerless to ...
— Okewood of the Secret Service • Valentine Williams

... thud, a smothered groan, a fall—and I stood there powerless to move—stricken dumb and motionless! And while I stood transfixed, some person rushed past me, breathless, panting, reckless of everything save escape! Margie, it was so dark that I could not be positive, but I am morally certain that the person I ...
— The Fatal Glove • Clara Augusta Jones Trask

... guardian, and to go immediately. The feeling she had imparted to Helena on the night of their first confidence, was so strong upon her—the feeling of not being safe from him, and of the solid walls of the old convent being powerless to keep out his ghostly following of her—that no reasoning of her own could calm her terrors. The fascination of repulsion had been upon her so long, and now culminated so darkly, that she felt as if he had power ...
— The Mystery of Edwin Drood • Charles Dickens

... with profuse prodigality at their lurking-places on land, and turning those fair tropical islands into a pandemonium of outrage, crime, and slaughter. As they troubled little the ships of other nations, these nations rather favored than sought to suppress them, and Spain seemed powerless to bring their ravages to an end. In consequence, as the years went on, they grew bolder and more adventurous. Beginning with a few small, deckless sloops, they in time gained large and well-armed vessels, and created so deep a terror among the Spaniards by their savage ...
— Historical Tales - The Romance of Reality - Volume VII • Charles Morris

... "Oh, mamma!" And called him the Name. And at that a she wildcat broke loose among them. She pounced on them without warning, a little fury of blazing eyes and flying hair, and white teeth showing in a snarl. If she had fought fair, or if she had not taken them so by surprise, she would have been powerless among them. But she had sprung at them with the suddenness of rage. She kicked, and scratched, and bit, and clawed and spat. She seemed not to feel the defensive blows that were showered upon her in turn. Her own hard little ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... ineffectual manner. The fair sex held the balance of power and wielded it. At every attempt of Shyuote to rise or to roll over, she pushed his face back into the moist ground, she pulled his hair, thumped his shoulders, and boxed his ears. She was in earnest, and Shyuote was powerless in her firm grasp. He could not even scream, for a thick coating of soil had fastened itself to his features, had penetrated into eye, mouth, and nostrils. His fate was as melancholy as it was ludicrous; it brought about a ...
— The Delight Makers • Adolf Bandelier

... one of his sisters named Coya Miro, who had a son of Huascar in her arms, and another in her womb; and another very beautiful sister named Chimbo Cisa. Breaking his heart at the sight of such cruelty and grief which he was powerless to prevent, he cried, with a sigh, "Oh Pachayachachi Viracocha, thou who showed favour to me for so short a time, and honoured me and gave me life, dost thou see that I am treated in this way, and seest thou in thy presence what I, in mine, ...
— History of the Incas • Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa

... unless I fear, I cannot be harmed; my reason rejects this thing; it is an illusion—I do not fear." With a violent effort I succeeded at last in stretching out my hand towards the weapon on the table; as I did so, on the arm and shoulder I received a strange shock, and my arm fell to my side powerless. And now, to add to my horror, the light began slowly to wane from the candles—they were not, as it were, extinguished, but their flame seemed very gradually withdrawn; it was the same with the fire—the light was ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... fall between them. Daphne felt that the time had come for her to speak. But, powerless to begin, she feigned to busy herself all the more devotedly with braiding the deep-green circlet. Suddenly he drew himself through the ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1 • Charles Dudley Warner

... paying for her folly with a life-time of wretchedness. She was to marry a man she did not love; and her friends were powerless ...
— The Automobile Girls At Washington • Laura Dent Crane

... to make himself its very soul. If he gave way now, the ship must go down! By a thin thread, Scorrier's hero-worship still held. 'Man against nature,' he thought, 'I back the man.' The struggle in which he was so powerless to give aid, became intensely personal to him, as if he had engaged his own good ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... descriptions of wonderful and fascinating things are reduced to arid definitions, in order to be clothed in their science, and thus are rendered powerless to inspire thought. They never meditate; they read a great deal; they think in mental images which no more represent facts than a diagram on the blackboard represents a living organ; and these images differ among different psychologists, ...
— Spontaneous Activity in Education • Maria Montessori

... circumstances," says Castelar, "Savonarola would undoubtedly have been a good husband, a tender father, a man unknown to history, utterly powerless to print upon the sands of time and upon the human soul the deep trace which he has left, but misfortune came to visit him, to crush his heart, and to impart that marked melancholy which characterizes a soul in grief, and the grief that circled ...
— Architects of Fate - or, Steps to Success and Power • Orison Swett Marden

... every gratification, to see all yield to her wishes, and especially to find gentlemen almost powerless to resist her beauty, she came to regard this one stern, averted face as infinitely more attractive than all the ...
— Barriers Burned Away • E. P. Roe

... without contradiction the Sabbath is perpetual, and all the arguments which ever can be presented against the fourth commandment being observed before God wrote it on tables of stone to prove that it is not binding on Gentiles, falls powerless before this one sentence: If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. I say the proof is positive that the Sabbath was a constituent part of the commandments, and Jesus says the Sabbath 'was made for man.' The Jews were only a ...
— The Seventh Day Sabbath, a Perpetual Sign, from the Beginning to the Entering into the Gates of the Holy City, According to the Commandment • Joseph Bates

... after what you have told me, I am so helpless and I know so very little that I don't understand how to comfort or encourage you. But surely you can somehow help yourself. Are men, that seem so strong and able, just as powerless as women, after all, when it comes to real trouble? ...
— A Foregone Conclusion • W. D. Howells

... to free herself. Hubert was tall and strong for his years, so that his sister was powerless in his grasp. He stood for a moment, holding her, while he pondered what to do; then a sudden amused light came into his eyes. Turning, he went away to the barn where, still holding Phebe with one hand, with the other he rolled an empty barrel into the middle of the floor and brought out a bushel ...
— Teddy: Her Book - A Story of Sweet Sixteen • Anna Chapin Ray

... to consider his situation, and presently hit on a stratagem the like of which has often since been adopted by aeronauts in like predicament. Representing to his captors that without his wings he would be powerless, he suffered them to remove these weighty appendages, when also dropping a heavy cloak, he suddenly cut the cord by which he was being dragged, and, regaining freedom, soared away into the sky. He was quickly high aloft, and heard thunder below him, soon ...
— The Dominion of the Air • J. M. Bacon

... lost consciousness of present things. Fever is rising in those wellnigh empty veins of his, his skin is drawing and creeping; it seems as though innumerable ants were running over him. The hand that is not powerless tries to brush them away. Sometimes he thinks he is in Hospital, and that the man in the next bed is groaning, and then he is aware that the groans are his own. He is conscious that a needle-prick in the sound wrist has been ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... also powerless to do anything to show their love, or to honor the body of their Friend. They were poor and unknown men, without influence. None of them had a grave in which the body could be laid. Nor had they power to get leave to take the body away; it required a name of influence ...
— Personal Friendships of Jesus • J. R. Miller

... curiosity which must have been revolting to Luis de Leon's austere nature. He candidly avowed doubts as to the prudence of facilitating the reading of the Song of Solomon in Spanish, and would have cancelled all manuscript copies if he could.[70] In this respect, however, he was powerless, and no better remedy occurred to him than to set to work on a Latin version which, when printed, should supplant the Spanish rendering. This he hoped to be able to disown. But fate was hostile to his design. Constant ill-health hindered him from making rapid headway with ...
— Fray Luis de Leon - A Biographical Fragment • James Fitzmaurice-Kelly

... necessity of taking proper measures to set right in the eyes of the world the responsibility of the august chief of the church—measures of which the least, certainly, would not be the recall of the pontifical representative in Mexico, in order that he may not remain there a powerless spectator of the spoliation of the church and of the violation ...
— Maximilian in Mexico - A Woman's Reminiscences of the French Intervention 1862-1867 • Sara Yorke Stevenson

... of a possible invasion, it was pointed out how entirely dependent Henry was upon his people: he had only one castle in London, and only a hundred yeomen of the guard to defend him.[886] He would, in fact, have been powerless against a united people or even against a partial revolt, if well organised and really popular. There was chronic discontent throughout the Tudor period, but it was sectional. The remnants of the old nobility always hated Tudor methods of government, and the poorer commons ...
— Henry VIII. • A. F. Pollard

... fame spreading throughout the whole world, till its echo reverberated mightily-echo, that fancy of the poet's, which has so great a voice, and nought beside. My former rivals, seeing that they themselves were now powerless to do me hurt, stirred up against me certain new apostles in whom the world put great faith. One of these (Norbert of Premontre) took pride in his position as canon of a regular order; the other (Bernard of Clairvaux) made it ...
— Historia Calamitatum • Peter Abelard

... breath you draw. Nothing but the air seems free; nothing but the blue sky above seems pure, as you walk from one scene of distress to another. You feel the more oppressed because human effort seems so powerless to alleviate the misery you witness; for who can minister to a mind diseased? What can take away the deformity and sting of guilt? Where lies the power to lift poverty from the degradation that the haughty and evil spirit of ...
— The Old Homestead • Ann S. Stephens

... Dyce's blood. He sat with his eyes fixed on Lady Ogram's, powerless to stir or to avert his gaze. Then the courage of despair ...
— Our Friend the Charlatan • George Gissing

... in the gorgeous and polluted court of Edward the Fourth. There she stalks around the seat of her former greatness, like a terrible phantom of departed majesty, uncrowned, unsceptered, desolate, powerless—or like a vampire thirsting for blood—or like a grim prophetess of evil, imprecating that ruin on the head of her enemies, which she lived to see realized. The scene following the murder of the princes in the Tower, in which Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of York sit down ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... the starting-point for explanation is sought in the wrong direction. I say starting-point, because "motive'' must be conscious, and "ground'' might be misunderstood. We know of countless criminal cases which we face powerless because we do indeed know the criminal but are unable to explain the causal connection between him and the crime, or because, again, we do not know the criminal, and judge from the facts that we might have gotten a clew if we had understood the psychological ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... seemed quite unattractive in the light of some modern standards have been found on touch to be charged with a life current of tremendous power. And some others, outwardly more attractive, have been found to be as powerless as a dead wire. And some there have been, and are, very winsome and attractive in themselves, and charged with the life current too. The great thing is the secret connections carefully maintained with ...
— Quiet Talks on Service • S. D. Gordon

... of screen between herself and these two people,—the counterfeits, they seemed, of her lover and her sister. If the roof in falling to crush them had crushed her also, she could scarcely have seemed more rigid or more powerless. It passed, and the next moment she was on her feet again, ...
— Malbone - An Oldport Romance • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... regarded as the voice of the god who inhabits the fiery Inferno. These lonely hills, ravaged by tempest and haunted by beasts of prey, are the hiding-places of fear and the cradles of ever-deepening superstition. Wild fancies sway the untaught mountaineers, responsive to Nature's wonders, though powerless to interpret their signification. The constant struggle for existence produces a character utterly opposed to that of the suave and facile Malay. The graces of life are unknown, but the strenuous temperament of the Tenggerese is shown by indefatigable industry in the difficult ...
— Through the Malay Archipelago • Emily Richings

... his guard, and knocking aside the point of the spear, he swung round his long club; and, before the other could draw back, brought it down with such effect upon his right shoulder that his arm fell powerless to his side, and the spear dropped from his grasp. Browne promptly set his foot upon it, and the owner, astonished and mortified, rather than intimidated at his repulse, shrunk back without ...
— The Island Home • Richard Archer

... of Kelson, drowned in a crash of thunder which words are powerless to describe, and as the good ship swung round responsive to the touch of her helm, all was again Egyptian darkness, and the wind rushed upon us with the howl and roar of a thousand hungry wild beasts. The Ariadne answered her helm like a tender-mouthed colt, but she was not quick ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... the curious bird. Conseil was right. The bird, drunk with the juice, was quite powerless. It could not ...
— Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea • Jules Verne

... ye forget? No witch hath power i' the sun! She can work no evil i' the sunshine. Seize her!—'tis an accursed hag— seize her! Bring her to the water and see an she can swim with a stone at her hag's neck. All witches are powerless by day. See, thus I spit upon and ...
— Beltane The Smith • Jeffery Farnol

... gusts that howl against the bars, And harp-like songs, and groans of wild despair, And angry clouds that chase the trembling stars. And on the iron grating the hot cheek We press, and forth into the night we call, And thrust our arms, that, manacled and weak, Clutch but the empty air, and powerless fall. ...
— The Atlantic Monthly , Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858 • Various

... has said, we were but a handful, and our words beat against the stony public as powerless as if against the north wind. We got no sympathy from most northern men: their consciences were seared as with a hot iron. At this time a young woman came from the proudest State in the slave-holding section. She came to lay on the altar of this despised cause, this seemingly hopeless crusade, ...
— The Grimke Sisters - Sarah and Angelina Grimke: The First American Women Advocates of - Abolition and Woman's Rights • Catherine H. Birney

... down the boy's face as he witnessed the suffering of his dumb friend, and realized how powerless he was to do anything to relieve it. He was not a bit ashamed of these signs of grief when he felt a light touch on his arm, and turning, saw Nellie Halford, with eyes also full of tears, standing beside him, and gazing ...
— Derrick Sterling - A Story of the Mines • Kirk Munroe

... revenge, he staggered back towards the door, and had not his legs refused their office he would have sought safety in flight; but at two stern glances, one from Lonner, the other from his wife, he sank powerless to the floor. ...
— The Home in the Valley • Emilie F. Carlen

... though he were an infidel himself?' said the terror-stricken mother. 'Nothing!' said Hester, bravely. 'Of course I should try to change him.' A more wretched woman than Mrs. Bolton might not probably then have been found. She suddenly perceived herself to be quite powerless with the child over whom her dominion had hitherto been supreme. And she felt herself compelled to give way to people whom, with all her heart, she hated. She determined that nothing,—nothing should ...
— John Caldigate • Anthony Trollope

... mind to seize the animal by the long hair on his forehead, as it struck him on the side with its horn, and being a remarkably tall and powerful man, a struggle ensued, which continued until his wrist was severely sprained, and his arm was rendered powerless; he then fell, and after receiving two or three ...
— The Hunters' Feast - Conversations Around the Camp Fire • Mayne Reid

... brrrr—tic tac, tic tac, brrrrrr...... Drowned every few seconds by our tremendous salvoes, this more nervous noise crept back insistently into our ears in the interval. As men fixed in the grip of nightmare, we were powerless—unable ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume I • Ian Hamilton

... home at La Charite-sur-Loire for his mistress' love-letters, which he conjured me to return to her—when he grew speechless in the middle of a sentence; but from his last gesture, I understood that the fatal key would be my passport in his mother's house. It troubled him that he was powerless to utter a single word to thank me, for of my wish to serve him he had no doubt. He looked wistfully at me for a moment, then his eyelids drooped in token of farewell, and his head sank, and he died. His death was the only fatal accident ...
— The Message • Honore de Balzac

... behind the veil—"El Hatim, a poet, a warrior, a physician, and he left a saying: 'Herbs for fevers, amulets for mischances, and occupation for distempers of memory.' If it should be that time proves powerless over your sorrows, I would bring employment to its aid.... Heed me now right well. It pains me to think of Constantinople without inhabitants or commerce, its splendors decaying, its palaces given over to owls, its harbor void of ships, ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 2 • Lew. Wallace

... and of which he was sensible in himself, must of necessity eventuate in some unbosoming, some act—almost involuntary—of self-revelation. This unaccustomed silence and restraint seemed to Richard charged with consequences which, in his present condition of defective volition, he was powerless to prevent. And this displeased him, mastery of surrounding influences being very ...
— The History of Sir Richard Calmady - A Romance • Lucas Malet

... could the seed of slander find fitter soil than the heart of a son with whom the prayer of his mother is powerless!" ...
— The Flight of the Shadow • George MacDonald

... thinking of the bright blush that overspread her face when Hardyman first spoke to her; he was thinking of the invitation to her to see the stud-farm, and to ride the roan mare; he was thinking of the utterly powerless position in which he stood towards Isabel and towards the highly-born gentleman who admired her. But he kept his doubts and fears to himself. "The train won't wait for me," he said, and held out his hand ...
— My Lady's Money • Wilkie Collins

... conscious, intelligent effort on his own behalf. He was especially of this opinion since the Board of Home Missions had overlooked the matter of forwarding his quarterly salary on time. The faith that moveth mountains was powerless to conjure flour and sugar and tea out of those dusky woods and silent waterways—at least not without a canoe and labor and a certain requisite medium ...
— Burned Bridges • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... rather than unusually young. But how was he to know this? Many long-standing prepossessions are as hard to be corrected as a long-standing mispronunciation, against which the direct experience of eye and ear is often powerless. And I could perceive that Ganymede's inwrought sense of his surprising youthfulness had been stronger than the superficial reckoning of his years and the merely optical phenomena of the looking-glass. He now held a post under Government, and not only saw, like most ...
— Impressions of Theophrastus Such • George Eliot

... towards that desolate retreat. No answer made she to our cries or groans; but walking midst the prickles and rude stones, a staff in hand, we saw her upwards toil; nor ever did she pause, nor rest the while, save at the entry of that savage den. Here, powerless and ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... formed of tin, I had no more fear of the Wicked Witch, for she was powerless to injure me. Nimmie Amee said we must be married at once, for then she could come to my cottage and live with me and keep ...
— The Tin Woodman of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... tragedies. But when Francis, in pursuance of his Italian policy, secured the hand of Catharine de' Medici for his son and heir, Henry II., he prepared the way for the most tragic event in her history. Powerless to win the affection, or even confidence, of Henry while he lived, Catharine remained unobserved; but, as the event proved, not unobservant. Her astute mind had been studying every current in ...
— A Short History of France • Mary Platt Parmele

... not give herself the appearance of not remarking that I constantly have for her a clouded brow and an unfriendly greeting? How! will she not take the pains to see that her empress looks upon her with disfavor? But she shall see and feel that I hate, that I abhor her. Oh, what a powerless creature is yet an empress! I hate this woman, and she has the impudence to think I cannot punish her unless she ...
— The Daughter of an Empress • Louise Muhlbach

... rolled from side to side, appealing in vain for help. Some of the crowd yelled and cheered, others seemed appalled at what they had done, and there were those who turned away sickened at the sight. I was fixed to the spot where I stood, powerless to take my eyes from what I did not ...
— The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man • James Weldon Johnson

... nothing but sand and stones were to be found. The grief of Neb and his companions, who were all strongly attached to the intrepid Harding, can be better pictured than described. It was too evident that they were powerless to help him. They must wait with what patience they could for daylight. Either the engineer had been able to save himself, and had already found a refuge on some point of the coast, or he was lost for ever! The long and painful hours passed by. The cold was intense. The castaways suffered ...
— The Mysterious Island • Jules Verne

... both father and son possessed a liberality of feeling which placed them ahead of their age. Had policy been solely their motive, they would never have identified themselves with a persecuted and powerless sect in England. In the charter of Maryland, Baltimore was given "the patronage and advowsons of all churches which, with the increasing worship and religion of Christ within the said region, hereafter shall happen to ...
— England in America, 1580-1652 • Lyon Gardiner Tyler

... by what appears to be the very embodiment of death. Under these conditions the will is baffled, perplexed, defeated and outraged. It beats in vain against the "inert mass" which malice has projected; and feels itself powerless to overcome it. It then turns furiously round upon the very substratum of the soul and rends and tears at that, in a mad effort to reach the secret of a phantom-world which seems to hold no secret. If some sort of relief does not come, such relief ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... spermaceti) listened attentively to Barton's description of Davenport's illness; concluded it was typhus fever, very prevalent in that neighbourhood; and proceeded to make up a bottle of medicine, sweet spirits of nitre, or some such innocent potion, very good for slight colds, but utterly powerless to stop, for an instant, the raging fever of the poor man it was intended to relieve. He recommended the same course they had previously determined to adopt, applying the next morning for an Infirmary order; and Barton left the shop with comfortable ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... loss of hope. I could only beat the water with feeble and futile splashes. I was completely at its mercy. And - as we all then do - I prayed - prayed for strength, prayed that I might be spared. But my strength was gone. My legs dropped powerless in the water. I could but just keep my nose or mouth above it. My legs sank, and my feet - ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... Almost simultaneously came popular demonstrations of a menacing character. Ledru-Rollin disavowed the offending Bulletin; but the growing uneasiness of the bourgeoisie, the unruly discontent among the workmen, the Government, embarrassed and utterly disorganized, was powerless to allay. Madame Sand began to perceive that the republic of her dreams, the "republican republic," was a forlorn hope, though still unconscious that even heavier obstacles to progress existed in the governed many than in the incapacity or personal ambition of the governing ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... self-improvement. Intimately connected with this subject is the establishment of the military defenses recommended by the Secretary of War, which have been already referred to. Without them the Government will be powerless to redeem its pledge of protection to the emigrating Indians against the numerous warlike tribes that surround them and to provide for the safety of the frontier settlers of the ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Martin van Buren • Martin van Buren

... in the young man's cheek. As if stricken powerless, his hands loosed their hold, and he set the girl ...
— The Song Of The Blood-Red Flower • Johannes Linnankoski

... back of him, got him with the bayonet. A nerve centre in his back was severed by the slash of the steel that extended almost from one shoulder to the other, and Big Boy had fallen to the ground, his arms and legs powerless. Then the German with the bayonet robbed him. Big Boy enumerated the loss to me,—fifty-three dollars and his ...
— "And they thought we wouldn't fight" • Floyd Gibbons

... submit to the thankless role of Minister-President of Prussia in a Ministry with joint responsibility, if I were not accustomed, from my old affection, to submit to the wishes of my King and Master. So thankless, so powerless, and so little responsible is that position; one can only be responsible for that which one does of one's own will; a board is ...
— Bismarck and the Foundation of the German Empire • James Wycliffe Headlam

... but the reason for that might easily be that a surgeon's skill was no longer, alas! of any avail for one, if not both, of the combatants. But if such was the case, it was nice to hope that the Padre had been in time to supply spiritual aid to anyone whom first-aid and probes were powerless ...
— Miss Mapp • Edward Frederic Benson

... confidence was more severely shaken as she was compelled to doubt the wisdom of their habits of seclusion and reticence, of living on from year to year engrossed by memories, instead of adapting themselves to a new order of things which they were powerless to prevent. "Truly," she thought, "my father and mother never could have wished me to be in this situation out of love for them. It is true I could never go to the length that he does without great hypocrisy, and I do not see the need of it. I can never forget the immense wrong ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe

... on the river, and one of the oldest in the country, it utterly refuses to look its age. Perhaps the solid, square compactness of the buildings has much to do with this. They appear as though built to defy time. Even the shadow of the venerable trees and the ancient ivy's telltale embrace seem powerless to break the ...
— Virginia: The Old Dominion • Frank W. Hutchins and Cortelle Hutchins

... nothing now about Divine motives. Motives are human, not divine. So is policy. That is why the present Pope is unworthy of respect. He let his flock die. He deserted his Cardinal. He let the hun go unrebuked. He betrayed Christ. I care nothing about any mind weak enough, politic enough, powerless enough, to ignore ...
— The Crimson Tide • Robert W. Chambers



Words linked to "Powerless" :   low-powered, feeble, helpless, ineffectual, powerfulness, ineffective, incapacitated, weak, uneffective, nerveless, powerful, impotent, power



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