at the mercy of


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Related to at the mercy of: without a hitch, take a back seat, along the lines

at the mercy of

Subject to the control or actions of a particular person or thing. When you're a minor, you're totally at the mercy of your parents. When you travel by public transportation, you're always at the mercy of the weather.
See also: mercy, of

at the mercy of someone

 and at someone's mercy
Fig. under the control of someone; without defense against someone. We were left at the mercy of the arresting officer. Mrs. Franklin wanted Mr. Franklin at her mercy.
See also: mercy, of

at the mercy of

1. Also, at someone's mercy. Subject to the power of, helpless against, as in The captured rebels were at the mercy of the army commander. [Late 1500s]
2. Without any protection against, as in On top of Mount Washington we were at the mercy of the elements. [Late 1600s]
See also: mercy, of

at the mercy of

Without any protection against; helpless before: drifting in an open boat, at the mercy of the elements.
See also: mercy, of