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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, over, sway

hold ˈsway (over somebody/something)

(literary) (of a person, a movement, an idea, etc.) have power, control or great influence over somebody/something: Rebel forces hold sway over much of the island.These ideas held sway for most of the century.
See also: hold, sway

hold sway

To have a controlling influence; dominate.
See also: hold, sway
References in periodicals archive ?
If the amount of the rope swaying is small, the elevators will continue again to operate.
The result is a spongy, slightly swaying passage across its 375-foot length - making it a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.
Vauxhall has developed a system that detects the onset of swaying in the early stages, and corrects it before it becomes uncontrollable.
When it detects a swaying motion, which is referred to as yawing, the towing vehicle automatically slows.
Swaying Willow will be going on shelf in Tesco this month at 3.
THE first new bridge over the Thames in London for 100 years opened to the public yesterday - only to be closed shortly afterwards because it was swaying violently.
It was swaying in the wind and we closed it while we got in touch with the bridge's engineers and city engineers to see if it was safe.
Fluid in your inner ears also tells your brain whether you're tilting, swaying, rising, or falling.
A person using fast sway movements is closer to exceeding the limit of stability than an individual swaying slowly through a similar arc.
Locomotor skills move the body from point A to point B horizontally, diagonally, and vertically (walking, running, leaping, swaying, jumping).
while tripping and swaying along, arm-in-arm, with the very people they were supposed to be angrily revolting against?
The exhausted travelers, including the women with babies strapped to their backs, stood up the entire time, swaying back and forth.
REMEMBRANCE JUST a mass of crimson poppies Swaying gently in the breeze.
The closer you approach Heller's prints, which resemble swaying seaweed, rippling silks, and Georgia O'Keeffe flowers, the more refined the images get.
The "leg" in legong means "gentle swaying motion," while "gong" refers to the musical accompaniment.