Share this entry

Share this page

wield

Line breaks: wield
Pronunciation: /wiːld
 
/

Definition of wield in English:

verb

[with object]
1Hold and use (a weapon or tool): a masked raider wielding a handgun
More example sentences
  • Security guards were robbed at gunpoint by raiders wielding a sawn-off shotgun and a pistol.
  • He ran across the battle field, wielding no weapon except for a small knife.
  • Here and there lay the bodies of a few raiders, killed by desperate farmers wielding crude weapons.
Synonyms
brandish, flourish, wave, twirl, display, flaunt, hold aloft, show off, swing, shake;
use, put to use, employ, handle, ply, manipulate, operate
1.1Have and be able to use (power or influence): faction leaders wielded enormous influence within the party
More example sentences
  • The Royal Company of Archers is a group of mostly elderly men who dress up for ceremonial events, but they also wield power and influence.
  • As a leading shareholder, he wields power and influence himself, and has not been afraid to use it.
  • Was that Cabinet minister under a misapprehension or do you actually wield power or influence?
Synonyms
exercise, exert, be possessed of, have, have at one's disposal, hold, maintain, command, control, manage, be in charge of

Origin

Old English wealdan, wieldan 'govern, subdue, direct', of Germanic origin; related to German walten.

More
  • unwieldy from (Late Middle English):

    The early meaning recorded was ‘lacking strength, infirm’. The word is composed of the prefix un- ‘not’ and wieldy in the obsolete sense ‘active’, from the Old English wield ‘rule, direct’. Unwieldy has meant ‘huge and awkward in shape’ since the late 16th century.

Derivatives

wielder

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Key to the success of such narratives is the existence of a disenfranchised population who want to be liberated and can be re-imagined as legitimate wielders of state power.
  • It silenced his critics, confounded his doubters and forced those knife wielders to return those implements to their dusty habitats for another day.
  • They savoured the preparations along with their friends, and watched the willow wielders and the bowlers display their prowess.

Definition of wield in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure