\ 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

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 King Shark could wield heavy weapons as a tank class, while Boomerang has the potential to be the most unique of them all, since his weapon is right in his name. Washington Post, "The exciting and worrying news of ‘Gotham Knights’ and ‘Suicide Squad’," 24 Aug. 2020 Ultra-Orthodox parties represent about a ninth of Israel’s population but wield an influence that far exceeds their numbers. Yaacov Benmeleh, Bloomberg.com, "Netanyahu Pushes Ultra-Orthodox Pilgrimage Defying Virus Experts," 1 Sep. 2020 Mutual funds with women behind them post stronger results in 2020, Iowa is a coronavirus hotspot, and institutional investors can wield their power to diversify venture capital funding. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "Institutional investors must take action on diversity in venture capital," 31 Aug. 2020 Other more seemingly conventional angel-of-the-house types—those working outside the formal political arena—can also wield considerable control over the political narrative. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "The Real, Paranoid Housewives of the Republican Convention," 27 Aug. 2020 In the absence of a legal victory, shutting down is one way for Uber and Lyft to attempt to wield the power of their apps in order to sway public opinion. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Uber and Lyft could shut down in California this week. It may not help their cause," 16 Aug. 2020 The right wing of the Liberal Democrats can wield the power to name future leaders of the party. Motoko Rich, BostonGlobe.com, "Japanese politicians mark war anniversary at contentious shrine," 15 Aug. 2020 But as researchers race to find answers, the SARS-CoV-2’s fecal signature could actually turn out to be a weapon to wield against COVID-19, helping track how and where disease is spreading. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Wastewater Could Help Track the Spread of the New Coronavirus," 14 May 2020 Industry associations wield major influence over policymakers. Kate Mackenzie, Bloomberg.com, "Climate-Friendly Companies Can Still Be Polluters by Association," 19 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for wield

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wield

Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wield.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wield. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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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.

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