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?] (pairi-šxuaxta, “to surround”), Sanskrit [script?] (svájate, “he embraces, enfolds”)). Cognate to Proto-Slavic *čьvati «swell, become bigger», Old Greek κυέω (kyéo, “become pregnant”).
sway (plural sways)
- The act of swaying; a swaying motion; a swing or sweep of a weapon.
- A rocking or swinging motion.
- The old song caused a little sway in everyone in the room.
- 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.
- Preponderance; turn or cast of balance.
- Rule; dominion; control.
- A switch or rod used by thatchers to bind their work.
- The maximum amplitude of a vehicle's lateral motion
- To move or swing from side to side; or backward and forward; to rock.
- The trees swayed in the breeze.
- sway to the music
- To move or wield with the hand; to swing; to wield.
- to sway the sceptre
- As sparkles from the anvil rise, / When heavy hammers on the wedge are swayed.
- 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?
- This was the race / To sway the world, and land and sea subdue.
- 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
- Let not temporal and little advantages sway you against a more durable interest.
- (nautical) To hoist (a mast or yard) into position
- to sway up the yards
- To be drawn to one side by weight or influence; to lean; to incline.
- Francis Bacon
- The balance sways on our part.
- Francis Bacon
- To have weight or influence.
- The example of sundry churches […] doth sway much.
- To bear sway; to rule; to govern.
- Hadst thou swayed as kings should do.
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