The words “wield” and “wheeled” are homophones. This means they sound the same but have different meanings, so you don’t want to mix them up. Check out our guide below to find out how to use these words correctly in your writing.
Wield (Handle a Tool or Exercise Power)
“Wield” is a verb that means “handle a weapon or tool effectively”:
Cavalry soldiers have to know how to wield their swords on horseback.
Have you seen him wield a broom? The man’s a genius sweeper.
It can also refer to having and exercising power, influence, or authority:
A democracy allows citizens to wield political power.
In both cases, though, “wield” is always spelled with an “-ie-” in the middle.
Wheeled (Move on Wheels or Have Wheels)
“Wheeled” has a couple of key uses. One is the past tense of the verb “wheel,” which typically means “push or pull an object with wheels”:
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She wheeled her bicycle up the hill.
As an adjective, meanwhile, “wheeled” means “equipped with wheels”:
Her wheeled suitcase allowed her to move through the airport with ease.
In all cases, though, “wheeled” is always spelled with a double “e” in the middle.
Summary: Wield or Wheeled?
Although these words sound the same, they have different meanings:
Wield is a verb that refers to handling a tool or exercising power.
Wheeled can be a verb that means “push or pull something with wheels” or an adjective that refers to being equipped with wheels.
If you struggle to tell these words apart, keep in mind that “wheeled” usually relates to something with “wheels.” Thus, if you’re discussing something with wheels or moving something on wheels, you’ll need the spelling “wheeled.”
Hopefully, this will help you to avoid mixing these words up in your writing. If you’d like more advice on your spelling or word choice, though, try our proofreading service by uploading a trial document for free today!