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English definition of “sway”

sway

verb uk   /sweɪ/ us  

sway verb (MOVE)

[I] to move slowly from side to side: The trees were swaying in the wind. The movement of the ship caused the mast to sway from side to side/backwards and forwards. A drunk was standing in the middle of the street, swaying uncertainly and trying hard to stay upright. [T] to cause something to move or change: Recent developments have swayed the balance of power in the region.

sway verb (PERSUADE)

[T] to persuade someone to believe or do one thing rather than another: Her speech failed to sway her colleagues into supporting the plan.

sway

noun [U] uk   /sweɪ/ formal us  
control or influence: In the 1980s, the organization came under the sway of (= became strongly influenced by) Christian fundamentalism. Her parents no longer seem to have much sway over her. The party could hold sway (= have an important influence) on some crucial votes.
(Definition of sway from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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