verb (used with object)
to exercise (power, authority, influence, etc.), as in ruling or dominating.
to use (a weapon, instrument, etc.) effectively; handle or employ actively.
Archaic. to guide or direct.
Archaic. to govern; manage.

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

wieldable, adjective
wielder, noun
unwieldable, adjective

weald, wield.

1. exert, employ, utilize. 2. manipulate, control.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wield (wiːld)
1.  to handle or use (a weapon, tool, etc)
2.  to exert or maintain (power or authority)
3.  obsolete to rule
[Old English wieldan, wealdan; related to Old Norse valda, Old Saxon waldan, German walten, Latin valēre to be strong]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. weldan (Mercian), wieldan, wealdan (W.Saxon) "to govern, possess, have control over" (class VII strong verb; past tense weold, pp. gewealden), merged with weak verb wyldan, both from P.Gmc. *wal-t- (cf. O.S., Goth. waldan, O.Fris. walda "to govern, rule," O.N. valda "to rule, wield, to cause,"
O.H.G. waltan, Ger. walten "to rule, govern"), probably from PIE *waldh- (cf. O.C.S. vlado "to rule," vlasti "power;" Lith. veldu "to rule, possess"), from base *wal- "to be strong, to rule" (see valiant).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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