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sway

[swey] /sweɪ/
verb (used without object)
1.
to move or swing to and fro, as something fixed at one end or resting on a support.
2.
to move or incline to one side or in a particular direction.
3.
to incline in opinion, sympathy, tendency, etc.:
She swayed toward conservatism.
4.
to fluctuate or vacillate, as in opinion:
His ideas swayed this way and that.
5.
to wield power; exercise rule.
verb (used with object)
6.
to cause to move to and fro or to incline from side to side.
7.
to cause to move to one side or in a particular direction.
8.
Nautical. to hoist or raise (a yard, topmast, or the like) (usually followed by up).
9.
to cause to fluctuate or vacillate.
10.
to cause (the mind, emotions, etc., or a person) to incline or turn in a specified way; influence.
11.
to cause to swerve, as from a purpose or a course of action:
He swayed them from their plan.
12.
to dominate; direct.
13.
to wield, as a weapon or scepter.
14.
to rule; govern.
noun
15.
the act of swaying; swaying movement.
16.
rule; dominion:
He held all Asia in his sway.
17.
dominating power or influence:
Many voters were under his sway.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; (v.) Middle English sweyen < Old Norse sveigja to bend, sway (transitive); (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.
Related forms
swayable, adjective
swayer, noun
swayingly, adverb
self-sway, noun
unswayable, adjective
unswaying, adjective
Synonyms
1. wave. See swing1 . 3. lean, bend, tend.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for swaying
  • Palm trees swaying gently in the mid-morning breeze.
  • Scientists believed that this chevron shape would resist the swaying that could lower image quality.
  • Native people who work at high elevations accept warning signals from normal swaying.
  • Gigantic turbines out of sight, swaying gently from side to side.
  • The chimpanzees' hair will stand on end and then they start this rhythmic swaying from side to side.
  • After a few minutes, she started to interpret the music with arm movements and swaying.
  • The move is particularly interesting at a time when the focus is now on swaying the superdelegates' minds.
  • Build a swaying bridge to cross a chasm, float a rope over a precipice or put up a tower to reach the top of the screen.
  • They sang hymns, arms upstretched and bodies swaying.
  • But he seemed punch-drunk at times, oddly swaying back and forth.
British Dictionary definitions for swaying

sway

/sweɪ/
verb
1.
(usually intransitive) to swing or cause to swing to and fro
2.
(usually intransitive) to lean or incline or cause to lean or incline to one side or in different directions in turn
3.
(usually intransitive) to vacillate or cause to vacillate between two or more opinions
4.
to be influenced or swerve or influence or cause to swerve to or from a purpose or opinion
5.
(transitive) (nautical) to hoist (a yard, mast, or other spar)
6.
(archaic or poetic) to rule or wield power (over)
7.
(transitive) (archaic) to wield (a weapon)
noun
8.
control; power
9.
a swinging or leaning movement
10.
(archaic) dominion; governing authority
11.
hold sway, to be master; reign
Derived Forms
swayable, adjective
swayer, noun
swayful, adjective
Word Origin
C16: probably from Old Norse sveigja to bend; related to Dutch zwaaien, Low German swājen
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 swaying

sway

v.

c.1300, "to go, glide, move," probably from Old Norse sveigja "to bend, swing, give way," from Proto-Germanic *swaigijanan and related to swag (v.) and swing. The sense of "swing, wave, waver" is first recorded c.1500. Related: Swayed; swaying. The noun meaning "controlling influence" (to be under the sway of) is 1510s, from a transitive sense of the verb in Dutch and other languages. The verb in this sense is recorded in English from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with swaying

sway

see: hold sway
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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14
15
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