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