From Middle English wēlden, which combines forms from two closely related verbs: Old English wealdan (“to control, rule”) (strong class 7) and Old English wieldan (“to control, subdue”) (weak). The reason for the merger was that in Middle English the -d in the stem made it hard to distinguish between strong and weak forms in the past tense. Both verbs ultimately derive from Proto-Germanic *waldaną (“to rule”).
- enPR: wēld, IPA(key): /wiːld/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -iːld
- Homophones: wealed, Weald, weald, wheeled (in accents with the wine-whine merger)
- (obsolete) To command, rule over; to possess or own.
- 1470–1485 (date produced), Thomas Malory, “Capitulum 7”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book V, [London: […] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur […], London: David Nutt, […], 1889, OCLC 890162034:
- There was never kyng sauff myselff that welded evir such knyghtes.
- (please add an English translation of this quote)
- (obsolete) To control, to guide or manage.
- (obsolete) To carry out, to bring about.
- a. 1513, Virgil; Gawin Douglas [i.e., Gavin Douglas], transl., “VIII, prologue”, in [George Dundas], editor, The Æneid of Virgil: Translated into Scottish Verse (Bannatyne Club, Publications; 64, no. 1), volume I, Edinburgh: T. Constable, printer, published 1839, OCLC 1038768057, line 1, page 448:
- All is weill done, God wate, weild he hys will.
- To handle with skill and ease, especially a weapon or tool.
- To exercise (authority or influence) effectively.
wield (inflected wielde)
- Alternative spelling of