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v. swayed, sway·ing, sways
1. To swing back and forth or to and fro. See Synonyms at swing.
2. To incline or bend to one side; veer: She swayed and put out a hand to steady herself.
a. To incline toward change, as in opinion or feeling: He swayed toward trying out for the chorus.
b. To fluctuate, as in outlook.
1. To cause to swing back and forth or to and fro: The breeze swayed the wheat.
2. To cause to incline or bend: The wind swayed the trees toward the house.
3. To exert influence or control over: His speech swayed the voters.
4. Nautical To hoist (a mast or yard) into position.
5. Archaic
a. To rule or govern.
b. To wield, as a weapon or scepter.
1. The act of moving from side to side with a swinging motion.
2. Influence or control: The mayor has a lot of sway in our town.

[Middle English sweien, probably of Scandinavian origin.]

sway′er n.
sway′ing·ly adv.


n. vaivén, movimiento acompasado.
References in classic literature ?
for there was something fantastically unreal in the curious swayings and noddings of Mrs.
At last she crawled over the swaying floor to her bed, and lay down upon it; and Toto followed and lay down beside her.
Finding that the night damp and chill caused her discomfort and even suffering, Korak constructed a tight little shelter high among the swaying branches of a giant tree.
They drove again through the outskirts of the village and along the same road, past the yard where the frozen linen had hung (which, however, was no longer to be seen), past the same barn, which was now snowed up almost to the roof and from which the snow was still endlessly pouring past the same dismally moaning, whistling, and swaying willows, and again entered into the sea of blustering snow raging from above and below.
Sometimes we had to drop everything and cling with both hands to the swaying spars, holding our breath in fear of a terribly heavy roll.
Now and then I caught sight of the swaying hearse in front of us, and our own driver urged his pair so that we might not remain behind.
Little monkeys, chattering and scolding, swung through the swaying limbs above the black warriors.
I remarked indeed a clumsy swaying of the machine, for which I was unable to account.
But the most curious thing about the swaying leaves was their color.
He could lie at full length along a swaying branch, stretching his giant limbs, and luxuriating in the blessed peace of utter thoughtlessness, without an apprehension or a worry to sap his nervous energy and rob him of his peace of mind.
Villa pleaded with Michael, catching both sides of his head and jaws in her hands and swaying him back and forth.
But if such an hypothesis be indeed exceptionable, there were still additional considerations which, though not so strictly according with the wildness of his ruling passion, yet were by no means incapable of swaying him.