American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Lack of power or effectiveness; weakness.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Powerlessness; impotence; feebleness.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Lack of power; inability.
- n. powerlessness revealed by an inability to act
- From Middle French impuissance. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English impuissaunce, from Old French impuissance : in-, not; see in-1 + puissance, power; see puissance. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“While less deference may be due now that the formal authority's impuissance has been exposed, this is not the time to mock, point fingers, or rest on our laurels.”
“Following a tinny peace agreement this week, allegations have arisen that there may have even been a $6 million bribe to encourage Taliban leaders 'cooperation, revealing the extent of the government's impuissance and desperation.”
“Most analysts of international relations agree that it was a period during which the traditional alliance between Washington and Brussels was languished; mainly due to Bush administration's impuissance to search for broader consensus regarding the Iraq War.”
“Il y a une certaine impuissance de ces mots pour guérir les maux de coeur.”
“She thought she was sick; she had never felt such impuissance.”
“I knew, impotent as I was, that I _could_ play it -- I could feel the sense of power tingling through my own impuissance.”
“-- Si donc les noirs sont bornés ici à un petit commerce de détail, n'en accusons pas leur impuissance, mais le préjugé des blancs, qui leur donnent des entraves.”
“Think but lightly of such impuissance? what stops my despair?”
“Then came the Son of God in time when man was vanquished of ignorance and impuissance.”
“After, came the law of God, which hath given commandment in which he hath been overcome of impuissance, as first he hath cried: There is none that fulfilleth but that commandeth.”
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