\ 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


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

The Security Council is unlikely to do so as veto-wielding members Russia and China have shown support for Myanmar’s military. Jon Emont, WSJ, "U.N. Calls for Genocide Charges Against Leaders of Myanmar’s Military," 18 Sep. 2018 Philadelphia police are searching for a wrench-wielding, Batman-tee clad man that recently attacked a Wendy’s worker and threatened to break into the fast-food restaurant with the weapon. Fox News, "Philadelphia Wendy’s drive-thru worker attacked by wrench-wielding man in Batman shirt," 29 Aug. 2018 At the end of the log rolling, axe-wielding competition, Venmo John rises above the fray winning the competition. Melissa Locker, Time, "The Bachelorette Watch: Becca Wants a 'Lumberjack for Her Lumberjill'," 19 June 2018 No one can see the crashes these vehicles avoided, ones that perhaps a cellphone-wielding, drunk, or very tired human wouldn’t have. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Uber's Self-Driving Car Just Killed Somebody. Now What?," 19 Mar. 2018 There are a couple of parties of walking-stick-wielding hikers starting out, and, far above them, a trio of mountain bikers speeding along the crest of the hill. Peter Fish, San Francisco Chronicle, "Best secrets of small-town Chico’s big city park," 16 Mar. 2018 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

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?







Statistics for wield

Last Updated

4 Jun 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



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

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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!