\ 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

Other Words from wield

wielder noun

Synonyms for wield


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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.
Recent Examples on the Web At long last, Jane Foster will wield Mjolnir, taking over as the Mighty Thor. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 18 Apr. 2022 In naked-mole-rat societies, the royals do not wield scepters or don crowns. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 5 Apr. 2022 With these powerful capabilities at their fingertips, diversion investigators can wield existing data sources to extract context-rich, plain-language insights that facilitate fast action on true instances of drug diversion. Nick Culbertson, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 Those technologies will probably be needed to clean up some industries — but can fossil fuel companies be trusted to wield them? Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2022 Here, three ways to wield it, inspired by the spring runways. Fiorella Valdesolo, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 Proximity to power creates hunger in even those who’ll only briefly have any chance to wield it. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 15 Jan. 2022 Gucci is his second release in 2021, after the excellent The Last Duel, another story about how those with influence wield it to achieve their own selfish ends. David Sims, The Atlantic, 23 Nov. 2021 Ten centuries later, women are the only ones who can wield it without going insane. Sam Gillette, PEOPLE.com, 19 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wield.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wield. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for wield


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on wield

Nglish: Translation of wield for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wield for Arabic Speakers


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