[ swey ]
/ sweɪ /
verb (used without object)
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.
verb (used with object)
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.
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Origin of sway
1300–50; (verb) Middle English sweyen < Old Norse sveigja “to bend, sway” (transitive); (noun) Middle English, derivative of the verb
sway·a·ble, adjectivesway·er, nounsway·ing·ly, adverbself-sway, noun
un·sway·a·ble, adjectiveun·sway·ing, adjective
1. See swing1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for swayable
/ (sweɪ) /
(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)
a swinging or leaning movement
archaic dominion; governing authority
hold sway to be master; reign
Derived Formsswayable, adjectiveswayer, nounswayful, adjective
Word Origin for sway
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
Idioms and Phrases with swayable
see hold sway.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.