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hold sway (over someone)

To have or exert great control or influence (over someone). My father retired from politics years ago, but he still holds sway in the town to this day. It is suspected that the president's wife holds a lot of sway over the administration's policy.
See also: hold, sway

sway back and forth

to swing or bend from one direction to another. The pendulum swayed back and forth, counting off the seconds. Mary was swaying back and forth, keeping time to the music.
See also: and, back, forth, sway

sway from side to side

to swing or bend from one side to the other. The car swayed from side to side as we started out, indicating that something was seriously wrong. He swayed from side to side with the rhythm of the music.
See also: side, sway

sway someone to something

to convince someone to do something. I think I can sway her to join our side. We could not sway Ted to our position.
See also: sway

hold sway over

Dominate, have a controlling influence over, as in He held sway over the entire department. This idiom uses the noun sway in the sense of "power" or "dominion," a usage dating from the late 1500s.
See also: hold, sway

hold sway

To have a controlling influence; dominate.
See also: hold, sway
References in periodicals archive ?
The Prime Minister, however, told a press conference that the UK must not be swayed by events happening in the country, and that the British policy of a planned withdrawal must be maintained.
He went on: 'At the end of the day, these people are completely ruthless - they will not be swayed by emotion.
An estimated 50,000 visited the bridge yesterday, compared with 100,000 on Saturday when it opened for the first time and had to be closed for 10 minutes after it swayed as thousands of visitors flocked to cross it.
Despite passionate but well-reasoned arguments in favour of tolerance for the sensibilities of Christians, the Ontario Press Council was more swayed by editor Philip McLeod in defence of the London Free Press.
But the jury seemed swayed less by race than by the argument that police work is risky, that the police stand as the "thin blue line" between law-abiding citizens and criminals, that King's behavior was frightening.
Wall Street has swayed into the bullish camp on KSS, as suggested by the latest Zacks (www.
The 'Transformers' star has said that screenwriter Dablo Cody's shoes swayed her to do the movie.
The people of California are easily swayed by propaganda.
Videotapes confirmed that those larvae were that swayed more inside the nursery were more likely to be carried out to feed.
The 320-metre long structure across the Thames in central London swayed alarmingly under the weight of thousands of people at its official opening on Saturday.
in 1986 to pursue a career in engineering but was swayed by the beauty of Napa Valley to redirect his attention to winemaking.
Madison, a corporate litigation attorney, will not be swayed by all the pressure, according to a business partner.
Participants swayed less when tactors delivered their subtle, erratic drumming to nerves, the researchers report in the Oct.
In Santa Clarita, buildings swayed, but most people caught in the event described the feeling as a gentle wave that went on long enough to cause motion sickness.