\ 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

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 Set at the fictional Camp Redwood, the new season of AHS will see the young cast terrorized by Mr. Jingles, a knife-wielding mental patient on the loose. Paula Bernstein, Fortune, "Here’s When Your Favorite Shows Return to TV This Fall," 5 Sep. 2019 The destruction upset residents, as did the loss of income from selling permits to gun-wielding tourists. The Economist, "The battle of Botswana’s big men," 29 Aug. 2019 Thankfully, the person running my demo of the game last week in San Francisco tapped me on the shoulder before the knife-wielding android had a chance to catch up to me. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Westworld Awakening is a VR game that puts you in the shoes of a newly self-aware android," 19 Aug. 2019 Jeff McNeil is a bat-wielding magician, and the rookie Pete Alonso offers Popeye power heroics. Michael Powell, New York Times, "As Wins Pile Up, Mets and Their Fans Soak in the Moment," 10 Aug. 2019 This time Natalie Portman will play the superhero, a hammer-wielding goddess of thunder. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "Natalie Portman is Marvel Studios’ new Thor and Mahershala Ali is Blade," 21 July 2019 Danai Gurira, who has played the katana-wielding Michonne on the long-running AMC zombie series since season 3, announced at the Walking Dead‘s San Diego Comic-Con panel on Friday that the show’s upcoming tenth season will be her last. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Danai Gurira Confirms That Walking Dead's 10th Season Will Be Her Last: 'TWD Family Is Forever'," 19 July 2019 On the protest front lines, demonstrators have confronted police and been targeted by stick-wielding men in white, whom some accuse of collaborating with the government. Tara John, CNN, "Why Hong Kong is protesting," 13 Aug. 2019 Scores of sign-wielding protesters - and some Trump supporters - gathered in downtown Dayton, anticipating Trump’s arrival. John Wagner, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump stays largely out of public view during Dayton visit; El Paso awaits his arrival," 7 Aug. 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

Statistics for wield

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

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


How to pronounce wield (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on wield

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wield

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


something of little or no value

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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