sway

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Earlier swey (to fall, swoon), from Middle English sweyen, from Old Norse sveigja (to bend, bow), from Proto-Germanic *swaigijaną (compare Saterland Frisian swooie (to swing, wave, wobble), Dutch zwaaien, Dutch Low Saxon sweuen (to sway in the wind), from Proto-Indo-European *swaig- (compare Lithuanian svaĩgti (to become giddy or dizzy), the second element of Avestan [script needed] (pairi-šxuaxta, to surround), Sanskrit [script needed] (svájate, he embraces, enfolds)). Cognate to Proto-Slavic *čьvati (swell, become bigger), Old Greek κυέω (kyéo, become pregnant).

Noun[edit]

sway (plural sways)

  1. The act of swaying; a swaying motion; a swing or sweep of a weapon.
  2. A rocking or swinging motion.
    The old song caused a little sway in everyone in the room.
  3. Influence, weight, or authority that inclines to one side; as, the sway of desires.
    I doubt I'll hold much sway with someone so powerful.
  4. Preponderance; turn or cast of balance.
  5. Rule; dominion; control.
  6. A switch or rod used by thatchers to bind their work.
  7. The maximum amplitude of a vehicle's lateral motion

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

sway (third-person singular simple present sways, present participle swaying, simple past and past participle swayed)

  1. To move or swing from side to side; or backward and forward; to rock.
    The trees swayed in the breeze.
    sway to the music
    • 1907, Robert Chambers, chapter 5, The Younger Set[1]:
      Breezes blowing from beds of iris quickened her breath with their perfume ; she saw the tufted lilacs sway in the wind, and the streamers of rose-tinted wistaria swinging, all a-glisten with golden bees ; … .
  2. To move or wield with the hand; to swing; to wield.
    to sway the sceptre
    • Spenser
      As sparkles from the anvil rise, / When heavy hammers on the wedge are swayed.
  3. To influence or direct by power, authority, persuasion, or by moral force; to rule; to govern; to guide. Compare persuade.
    Do you think you can sway their decision?
    • Dryden
      This was the race / To sway the world, and land and sea subdue.
  4. To cause to incline or swing to one side, or backward and forward; to bias; to turn; to bend; warp.
    reeds swayed by the wind
    judgment swayed by passion
    • Tillotson
      Let not temporal and little advantages sway you against a more durable interest.
  5. (nautical) To hoist (a mast or yard) into position
    to sway up the yards
  6. To be drawn to one side by weight or influence; to lean; to incline.
    • Francis Bacon
      The balance sways on our part.
  7. To have weight or influence.
    • Hooker
      The example of sundry churches [] doth sway much.
  8. To bear sway; to rule; to govern.
    • Shakespeare
      Hadst thou swayed as kings should do.

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]