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[weeld] /wild/
verb (used with object)
to exercise (power, authority, influence, etc.), as in ruling or dominating.
to use (a weapon, instrument, etc.) effectively; handle or employ actively.
Archaic. to guide or direct.
Archaic. to govern; manage.
Origin of wield
before 900; Middle English welden, Old English wieldan to control, derivative of wealdan to rule; cognate with German walten, Old Norse valda, Gothic waldan; akin to Latin valēre to be strong, prevail
Related forms
wieldable, adjective
wielder, noun
unwieldable, adjective
Can be confused
weald, wield.
1. exert, employ, utilize. 2. manipulate, control. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wielder
Historical Examples
  • Thor was the wielder of the mighty hammer, made for him by the dwarfs.

  • Here again the woman is the wielder of the power, and not the man.


    James Huneker
  • Finally those on the edge of the multitude discovered the wielder of the ax.

    West Wind Drift George Barr McCutcheon
  • But the wrist of its wielder was grasped with a grip as of iron.

  • He had seen what execution its wielder could do, wherefore he pulled up sharp.

    Harley Greenoak's Charge Bertram Mitford
  • One voice related that its wielder had smoked opium in Cairo.

    Ewing\'s Lady Harry Leon Wilson
  • Then came the reserves, and the wielder of the knife turned to escape.

  • He also was the god of the atmosphere, the thunderer, the wielder of lightning.

    Ten Great Religions James Freeman Clarke
  • The underlying suggestion that a wielder of the sword will not wield the wheel is to take a distorted view of a soldier's calling.

    The Wheel of Fortune Mahatma Gandhi
  • The wielder of the ruler gave a tremendous wriggle with the whole body, which proved as ineffectual as it was violent.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
British Dictionary definitions for wielder


verb (transitive)
to handle or use (a weapon, tool, etc)
to exert or maintain (power or authority)
(obsolete) to rule
Derived Forms
wieldable, adjective
wielder, noun
Word Origin
Old English wieldan, wealdan; related to Old Norse valda, Old Saxon waldan, German walten, Latin valēre to be strong
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for wielder



Old English weldan (Mercian), wieldan, wealdan (West Saxon) "to govern, possess, have control over" (class VII strong verb; past tense weold, past participle gewealden), merged with weak verb wyldan, both from Proto-Germanic *wal-t- (cf. Old Saxon and Gothic waldan, Old Frisian walda "to govern, rule," Old Norse valda "to rule, wield, to cause," Old High German waltan, German walten "to rule, govern").

The Germanic words probably are from PIE *waldh- (cf. Old Church Slavonic vlado "to rule," vlasti "power;" Lithuanian veldu "to rule, possess"), from root *wal- "to be strong, to rule" (see valiant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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