\ ˈwēld How to pronounce wield (audio) \
wielded; wielding; wields

Definition of wield

transitive verb

1 chiefly dialectal : to deal successfully with : manage
2 : to handle (something, such as a tool) especially effectively wield a broom
3a : to exert one's authority by means of wield influence
b : to have at one's command or disposal did not wield appropriate credentials— G. W. Bonham

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Other Words from wield

wielder noun

Synonyms for wield


apply, exercise, exert, ply, put out

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Examples of wield in a Sentence

The man was wielding a gun. Can he wield a hammer? He wields a great deal of influence over his students.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Soviet demise was accelerated by the heavy cost of competing with the West to wield influence around the world, including in Afghanistan. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump claims innocence in probe; wall myths," 7 Jan. 2019 The other wrestlers immediately believe that Debbie wields more influence than them. Rachel Vorona Cote, The New Republic, "In GLOW, Who Gets To Be Empowered?," 28 June 2018 That network has proved a boon for Rufus Gifford in his first bid for public office, with more than $87,000 in donations from top executives and board members at organizations where his father wielded influence for years. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "Rufus Gifford’s bid for Congress boosted by father’s connections," 25 June 2018 The pervasive lyricism and sense of elegance that defined the piece affirmed that the MJQ ethos still wields influence at this late date. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Gregory Porter sounds sumptuous with CSO," 12 June 2018 There are also signs reformist politicians are wielding more influence under Kim. James Griffiths, CNN, "After nukes and summits, can Kim Jong Un reform North Korea's economy?," 8 June 2018 Mayor Mark Farrell, whom the board named to the job in January after a controversial vote, has wielded the most influence over the budgeting process. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "Where SF’s mayoral candidates would push hardest in next year’s budget," 18 May 2018 In recent months a new book in Australia has fuelled debate about the Chinese government’s covert efforts to wield influence there, partly by manipulating members of the large and growing Chinese diaspora. The Economist, "Surging numbers of Chinese people going abroad should be welcomed," 17 May 2018 Bobak continued to wield influence after Greitens took office, all while remaining off the books. Jason Hancock, Bryan Lowry And Lindsay Wise, kansascity, "St. Louis attorney has influence over ‘all things Eric Greitens’ | The Kansas City Star," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wield.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wield

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wield

Middle English welden to control, from Old English wieldan; akin to Old High German waltan to rule, Latin valēre to be strong, be worth

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Dictionary Entries near wield

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Statistics for wield

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for wield

The first known use of wield was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for wield



English Language Learners Definition of wield

: to hold (something, such as a tool or weapon) in your hands so that you are ready to use it
: to have and use (power, influence, etc.)


\ ˈwēld How to pronounce wield (audio) \
wielded; wielding

Kids Definition of wield

1 : to use (as a tool) in an effective way The knights wielded swords.
2 : exercise entry 2 sense 1 The banker wields great influence.

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More from Merriam-Webster on wield

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wield

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wield

Spanish Central: Translation of wield

Nglish: Translation of wield for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wield for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wield

What made you want to look up wield? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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