Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[weeld] /wild/
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
Related forms
wieldable, adjective
wielder, noun
unwieldable, adjective
Can be confused
weald, wield.
1. exert, employ, utilize. 2. manipulate, control. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wielded
  • Learn how these remarkable creatures wielded power over the prehistoric kingdom's largest beasts and how they disappeared.
  • The other two arms wielded the surgical instruments.
  • One of the tombs was particularly rich, suggesting that in life its occupant had wielded enormous power.
  • Sometimes the artist who wielded the brush encountered difficulties.
  • She practiced gun-handling and learned how to use the swords and butterfly knives wielded with utter authority on-screen.
  • Inside was a skeleton that wielded two swords, holding them in various defensive postures.
  • In the common television room, where sports fans gathered to watch a game, he wielded his device with secretive glee.
  • And anyone in government will tell you that information, when wielded with finesse, begets power.
  • And she has wielded a powerful stick throughout this primary season.
  • There he wielded control over everything-especially his laptop.
British Dictionary definitions for wielded


verb (transitive)
to handle or use (a weapon, tool, etc)
to exert or maintain (power or authority)
(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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for wielded



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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