wield

verb
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from wield

wielder noun

Synonyms for wield

Synonyms

apply, exercise, exert, ply, put out

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Two days later, his family said, rifle-wielding special police agents wearing black masks stormed into their home in the Caracas slum of La Vega, pulled him outside and shot him to death. Fabiola Sanchez, The Seattle Times, "Deadly crackdown stokes fear among protesters in Venezuela," 20 Feb. 2019 Here are the brushes makeup artists recommend for achieving a perfectly contoured look every time, plus their tips on how to wield them like an expert. 1. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "The 4 Makeup Brushes You Need to Master Foundation and Contouring," 10 Oct. 2018 His teammate, Alexander Rossi, also possessed a top-notch car and was wielding it well after nabbing the pole position earlier Sunday morning. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: After so many close calls, Ryan Hunter-Reay savors that winning feeling," 3 June 2018 Any woman with a shred of power in Gilead wields it with the consent of the men around them, and it can be taken away instantly. Rena Gross, Billboard, "12 Big Revelations From 'Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 7," 30 May 2018 SustainUS While politicians congratulate themselves for addressing the climate crisis with the Paris Climate Agreements, the fossil industry is still able to wield access and power in the negotiating spaces at the UN. Maia Wikler, Teen Vogue, "5 Youth-Led Climate Justice Groups Helping to Save the Environment," 28 Mar. 2019 Newsletter Sign-up Mr. Barr’s confirmation unites a forceful advocate of executive power with a president who has shown a willingness to wield that power in unconventional ways. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "Senate Confirms William Barr as Attorney General," 14 Feb. 2019 Eminem didn’t have the same problem; his familiar breathless adenoidal bark was sharp enough to wield as a mirror as well as a weapon. Marc Hirsh, BostonGlobe.com, "The sky was the only limit in a strong finish to Boston Calling," 28 May 2018 Mulakkal was the official patron of her community, the Missionaries of Jesus, wielding immense influence over its budgets and job assignments. Tim Sullivan, The Seattle Times, "AP finds long history of nuns abused by priests in India," 1 Jan. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wield

Dictionary Entries near wield

wie geht's?

Wiegela

Wieland

wield

wieldy

Wieman

Wien

Statistics for wield

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wield

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wield

wield

verb

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.)

wield

verb
\ 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!