Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To handle (a weapon or tool, for example) with skill and ease.
  • transitive verb To exercise (authority or influence, for example) effectively. synonym: handle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Command; power; management.
  • To have power or sway over; rule; govern; manage.
  • To use or exert in governing; sway.
  • Hence, in general, to exercise; put to practical or active use, as a means, an instrument, or a weapon; use with freedom and ease: as, to wield a hammer.
  • To have; possess; enjoy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To govern; to rule; to keep, or have in charge; also, to possess.
  • transitive verb To direct or regulate by influence or authority; to manage; to control; to sway.
  • transitive verb To use with full command or power, as a thing not too heavy for the holder; to manage; to handle; hence, to use or employ.
  • transitive verb to govern with supreme command.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb obsolete To command, rule over; to possess or own.
  • verb obsolete To control, to guide or manage.
  • verb To handle with skill and ease, especially of a weapon or tool.
  • verb To exercise (authority or influence) effectively.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb handle effectively
  • verb have and exercise

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English welden, from Old English wealdan, to rule, and wieldan, to govern; see wal- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English wieldan ("to control"), a derivative of wealdan "to govern", from Germanic *walt-. Cognate with German walten, Swedish vålla. Non-Germanic cognates include Albanian ul ("to put down, lower, abate, submit").

Examples

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