Native English speakers, could you please help me with these issues?

Consider the following sentence:

"A knife-WIELDING man had allegedly grabbed the girl and forced her into his car earlier that day, just after she got off the school bus in Springfield."

Does 'to wield' means the same as 'to hold'?

And is 'to wield' more formal than 'to hold'? Is 'to wield' ever used in speech?

3 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    Certainly you must hold a knife in order to 'wield' it, but 'wielding' means more than just holding. Someone who is 'wielding' a knife is waving it around, ready to use it.

    It's not exactly more 'formal' than 'to hold, but the meaning is more precise, and the contexts in which you would use it are consequently fewer.

    Other, more domestic, uses:

    "In the kitchen my sister was wielding a heavy Chinese cleaver. Chunks of pork flew across the room.""When I was a child I hated having my hair brushed. Whenever I saw my mother approach me, wielding the hairbrush, my heart sank."

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  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Does 'to wield' means the same as 'to hold'?

    no. As far as I understand, it's more like swinging and it only applies to something with a sharp edge, such as a knife, sword, halbard, or axe.

    You cannot wield a rifle or baseball-bat

    Source(s): dutch/NL
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  • 1 month ago

    Wielding is more than just holding. Someone wielding a knife is holding it and waving it in a threatening way and showing a willingness to use it. Just holding a knife is not necessarily threatening.

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