- 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 wielded
At its height in the 1920s, Terry noted, the Klan wielded real political influence, boasting a membership upwards of four million.The Klan’s Call to Violence in Ferguson Blows the Lid Off Its Hypocritical Rebrand
November 14, 2014
They wielded baseball bats and knives, yelling “Jews, Jews, Jews” as they carried out the attacks.Italy Suddenly Gets Ugly for Jews
Barbie Latza Nadeau
July 29, 2014
The KGB wielded their secret power through five dark decades until the end of the Cold War in 1991.Secret KGB Torture House Opens Its Doors in Riga
June 4, 2014
He never abused his power, he says, and he wielded it not for personal gain but to help inmates.Confessions of a Death Camp Collaborator: Claude Lanzmann’s ‘The Last of the Unjust’
February 7, 2014
Rubin and the Anti-Defamation League have wielded it against the Center for American Progress.Hagel Accusers Face Pushback
January 14, 2013
His influence had thus far been wielded only to secure his own position.
Only imagine, then, what the weapon becomes when wielded by the really wicked.One Of Them
Charles James Lever
Hugh wielded the scythe the whole of the harvest, and Margaret gathered to him.David Elginbrod
He received two hundred lashes with whips, wielded by two Lamas.In the Forbidden Land
Arnold Henry Savage Landor
Natural affection was the sword, and God's the arm that wielded it.Heart
Martin Farquhar Tupper
- to handle or use (a weapon, tool, etc)
- to exert or maintain (power or authority)
- obsolete to rule
Word Origin and History for wielded
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).