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wield

[weeld]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to exercise (power, authority, influence, etc.), as in ruling or dominating.
  2. to use (a weapon, instrument, etc.) effectively; handle or employ actively.
  3. Archaic. to guide or direct.
  4. Archaic. to govern; manage.
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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 formswield·a·ble, adjectivewield·er, nounun·wield·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedweald wield

Synonyms for wield

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for wield

handle, exert, employ, maintain, swing, apply, operate, brandish, manipulate, possess, maneuver, manage, shake, work, utilize, ply, wave, command, have, conduct

Examples from the Web for wield

Contemporary Examples of wield

Historical Examples of wield

  • Did he have the brains to wield this money and make it mean something to the world?

  • 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

    Rafael Sabatini

  • 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 Story of Glass

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • The mass of glass was also very heavy for the blower to wield.

    The Story of Glass

    Sara Ware Bassett


British Dictionary definitions for wield

wield

verb (tr)
  1. to handle or use (a weapon, tool, etc)
  2. to exert or maintain (power or authority)
  3. obsolete to rule
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Derived Formswieldable, adjectivewielder, noun

Word Origin for wield

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

Word Origin and History for wield

v.

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper