- to move or swing to and fro, as something fixed at one end or resting on a support.
- to move or incline to one side or in a particular direction.
- to incline in opinion, sympathy, tendency, etc.: She swayed toward conservatism.
- to fluctuate or vacillate, as in opinion: His ideas swayed this way and that.
- to wield power; exercise rule.
- to cause to move to and fro or to incline from side to side.
- to cause to move to one side or in a particular direction.
- Nautical. to hoist or raise (a yard, topmast, or the like) (usually followed by up).
- to cause to fluctuate or vacillate.
- to cause (the mind, emotions, etc., or a person) to incline or turn in a specified way; influence.
- to cause to swerve, as from a purpose or a course of action: He swayed them from their plan.
- to dominate; direct.
- to wield, as a weapon or scepter.
- to rule; govern.
- the act of swaying; swaying movement.
- rule; dominion: He held all Asia in his sway.
- dominating power or influence: Many voters were under his sway.
Origin of sway
Synonyms for swaySee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for swayableapproachable, impartial, observant, tolerant, sympathetic, welcoming, sensitive, susceptible, open-minded, amenable, ready, interested, hospitable, responsive, friendly, open, broad-minded, perceptive, persuadable, unbiased
- (usually intr) to swing or cause to swing to and fro
- (usually intr) to lean or incline or cause to lean or incline to one side or in different directions in turn
- (usually intr) to vacillate or cause to vacillate between two or more opinions
- to be influenced or swerve or influence or cause to swerve to or from a purpose or opinion
- (tr) nautical to hoist (a yard, mast, or other spar)
- archaic, or poetic to rule or wield power (over)
- (tr) archaic to wield (a weapon)
- control; power
- a swinging or leaning movement
- archaic dominion; governing authority
- hold sway to be master; reign
Word Origin for sway
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.
see hold sway.