- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for wield on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for wield
But the last national figure to wield ancient personal authority in an explicitly religious way was Robert F. Kennedy.No Gods, No Cops, No Masters
January 1, 2015
They are elites, in short, even though they make less money and wield less power than others of that designation.How Maurice Tomlinson Was Outed in Jamaica—and Forced Into Exile
December 9, 2014
Few sore losers could wield sharp words quite like Leon Trotsky, especially when talking about Joseph Stalin.Kotkin Biography Reveals Stalin's Evil Pragmatism
November 30, 2014
Women have been trying to wield Internet shame against men for years now to little avail.Online Shaming Gives Creeps the Spotlight They Deserve
September 23, 2014
I might have more power than you, but if you wield it more effectively you might exercise more influence in certain settings.Why China Won’t Eclipse the United States
June 12, 2014
Did he have the brains to wield this money and make it mean something to the world?The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
And since his son is of an age too tender to wield the sceptre, the boy's mother does it in his name.St. Martin's Summer
He was ignorant of the irresistible power which the dirty "saint" could wield.The Minister of Evil
William Le Queux
Do you realize how strong a man has to be to wield such a weight as that lump of metal?
The mass of glass was also very heavy for the blower to wield.
- to handle or use (a weapon, tool, etc)
- to exert or maintain (power or authority)
- obsolete to rule
Word Origin and History for wield
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).