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wield

[weeld] /wild/
verb (used with object)
1.
to exercise (power, authority, influence, etc.), as in ruling or dominating.
2.
to use (a weapon, instrument, etc.) effectively; handle or employ actively.
3.
Archaic. to guide or direct.
4.
Archaic. to govern; manage.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English welden, Old English wieldan to control, derivative of wealdan to rule; cognate with German walten, Old Norse valda, Gothic waldan; akin to Latin valēre to be strong, prevail
Related forms
wieldable, adjective
wielder, noun
unwieldable, adjective
Can be confused
weald, wield.
Synonyms
1. exert, employ, utilize. 2. manipulate, control.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for unwieldable

wield

/wiːld/
verb (transitive)
1.
to handle or use (a weapon, tool, etc)
2.
to exert or maintain (power or authority)
3.
(obsolete) to rule
Derived Forms
wieldable, adjective
wielder, noun
Word Origin
Old English wieldan, wealdan; related to Old Norse valda, Old Saxon waldan, German walten, Latin valēre to be strong
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for unwieldable

wield

v.

Old English weldan (Mercian), wieldan, wealdan (West Saxon) "to govern, possess, have control over" (class VII strong verb; past tense weold, past participle gewealden), merged with weak verb wyldan, both from Proto-Germanic *wal-t- (cf. Old Saxon and Gothic waldan, Old Frisian walda "to govern, rule," Old Norse valda "to rule, wield, to cause," Old High German waltan, German walten "to rule, govern").

The Germanic words probably are from PIE *waldh- (cf. Old Church Slavonic vlado "to rule," vlasti "power;" Lithuanian veldu "to rule, possess"), from root *wal- "to be strong, to rule" (see valiant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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