\ 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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Rosamund Pike leads the large ensemble cast as Moiraine, a member of the Aes Sedai — an all-female mystic order who wield the magical force known as the One Power. Ew Staff, EW.com, 13 Sep. 2021 The tour, which included additional stops in Temecula and in Whittier, expands his effort to court Latino voters, who wield growing political clout in California. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Sep. 2021 That laissez-faire approach has emboldened tech giants to wield free products and below-cost pricing freely as weapons in their quest to conquer new markets. BostonGlobe.com, 7 July 2021 That laissez-faire approach has emboldened tech giants to wield free products and below-cost pricing freely as weapons in their quest to conquer new markets. Washington Post, 6 July 2021 At every twist and turn of this tale, Stefani is gaslighting her way through each step, and stepping over Zola to wield her whiteness as a weapon. Kathleen Newman-bremang, refinery29.com, 30 June 2021 Presidential candidates did not haphazardly accuse their rivals of criminal behavior; incumbents did not threaten to jail their opposition or try to wield the Justice Department as a cudgel against their foes. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 12 Nov. 2020 The move is the latest in Washington’s attempts to wield U.S. dominance in semiconductors as a weapon over China. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2020 Its unions wield a tremendous amount of political clout with the County Board, the group charged by state law with overseeing the county's mental health care. jsonline.com, 31 Aug. 2021

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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Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wield.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wield. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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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.

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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