\ 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 By itself, that white-hot core is not large enough to wield power in statewide elections, Mr. Coughlin said. Michael Wines, New York Times, 7 June 2021 The truth is, technologists do not wield superhuman powers. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 2 June 2021 But Hugh’s idea was to create a movement for the next generation—an idea where millions of young, like-minded people could wield a lot of power and get the attention of our world leaders. Julia Gillard, Town & Country, 2 June 2021 But now, particularly for star clients, the job is also about finding new ways to wield power, including using the media. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 31 May 2021 America needs someone to wield the shield once more. Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2021 But that does not mean black Bostonians now wield commensurate influence. BostonGlobe.com, 15 Dec. 2017 Businesses and companies wield incredible amounts of power and influence and have a responsibility to ensure everyone, including our AAPI community, is afforded the opportunity to thrive at work and feel protected in places of business. Quartz, 27 May 2021 Another drawback to the bills is that state laws only wield so much power. Anne Marshall-chalmers, USA TODAY, 22 May 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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Statistics for wield

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wield.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wield. Accessed 18 Jun. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wield

Nglish: Translation of wield for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wield for Arabic Speakers


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