at the mercy of (someone or something)

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at the mercy of (someone or something)

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. Her fate is at the mercy of the jury—it's their decision now.
See also: mercy, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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