Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sway”

See all translations

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)
What is the pronunciation of sway?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sway” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

derivative

If something is derivative, it is not the result of new ideas, but has been developed from or copies something else.

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More