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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

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

Related Words

handleexertemploymaintainswingapplyoperatebrandishmanipulatepossessmaneuvermanageshakeworkutilizeplywavecommandhaveconduct

Examples from the Web for wielding

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He had seized a sword from a dying hand and was wielding it with aptitude and power.

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

  • Then wielding the sword aloft, he made it whiz past Mr. Landor's neck.

    In the Forbidden Land

    Arnold Henry Savage Landor

  • One began to dream the sensation of wielding unmeasured power.

  • He is often depicted as wielding a huge adze, and engaged in constructing the world.

  • The force which the chief expended in wielding his club now began to be apparent.

    The Coral Island

    R.M. Ballantyne


British Dictionary definitions for wielding

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

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 wielding

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