Definition for SWAY

SWAY, v.t. [D. zwaaijen, to turn, to wield, to swing, to sway. This word is probably formed on the root of weigh, wave, Sax. wæg, weg, and swag, and probably swing is written for swig, and is of the same family; Ice. sweigia; Sw. sviga.]

  1. To move or wave; to wield with the hand; as, to sway the scepter.
  2. To bias; to cause to lean or incline to one side. Let not temporal advantages sway you from the line of duty. The king was swayed by his council from the course he intended to pursue. As bowls run true by being made / On purpose false, and to be sway'd. – Hudibras.
  3. To rule; to govern; to influence or direct by power and authority, or by moral force. This was the race / To sway the world, and land and sea subdue. – Dryden. She could not sway her house. – Shak. Take heed lest passion sway / Thy judgment to do aught which else free will / Would not admit. – Milton.

Return to page 347 of the letter “S”.