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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 ?
Computerized posturograhy for data analysis and mathematical modelling of postural sway during different two-legged and one-legged human stance.
Balance after stapedectomy: the measurement of spontaneous sway by posturography.
Control and stability of the complex inverted pendulum models in application to postural sway analysis of the vertical human stance.
Computerized posturography with sway frequency analysis: Application in occupational and environmental health.
11) Heaney's phrase "the sway of language and its furtherings" can thus be read as an observation on the linguistic carryover from one poem to another.
The metaphor anticipates his assertion in "Sounding Auden" that a poem's authority derives from "the sway gained over the deep ear and, through that, over other parts of our mind and nature.
The authoritative sway he achieves in the medium of poetic language is intimately bound up with his assured control of the swaying meter, its fluid "give and take.
The amplitude of the COG sway, therefore, is representative of an individual's difficulty in achieving balance, and the amplitude and velocity of the sway are proportional to the difficulty experienced counteracting gravity.
The COG sway can be measured by computer analysis of information received from a forceplate on which stands the individual to be evaluated.
Visual input: Its importance in the control of postural sway.