Definition of hold sway in English:

hold sway


  • Have great power or influence over a particular person, place, or domain.

    ‘they had held sway in France for a quarter of a century’
    ‘such arguments would not hold sway in a university’
    • ‘Some of us would say it was always an aberration, but it did hold sway for a while under the Chief Justice's influence.’
    • ‘But at his loft the power of the image holds sway, as the dominating painting of a laughing, mocking clown quickly makes clear.’
    • ‘For many of us, long before we begin to appreciate other fine things, the power of baked goods already holds sway, largely due to the aroma that wafts out of neighbourhood bakeries.’
    • ‘He refers to many developments in ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue over the past 50 years; he demonstrates how a broad, tolerant religious view now holds sway in the corridors of power.’
    • ‘Ultimately, it is because the influences holding sway are far deeper than simply editorial decisions about how journalists cover particular stories.’
    • ‘The notion of Chinese-Indonesians holding economic power has held sway for as long as the nation's history, particularly since the colonial era.’
    • ‘Not only does this oligarchy of permanent interests (or call it ‘elite consensus’) control all levers of power, it also holds sway over the country's resources.’
    • ‘Andalucia is a traditional, rural society where, despite all evidence of macho posturing, the power of the matriarch holds sway.’
    • ‘Analysts, however, said the plan was in fact doomed by bureaucratic infighting for control over State Power, which reportedly holds sway over one-sixth of all state assets.’
    • ‘This argument seemed to hold sway during the first trial.’
    hold power, wield power, exercise power, rule, be most powerful, be in power, be in control, predominate, have the ascendancy, have the greatest influence, have the upper hand, have the edge, have the whip hand, hold the whip hand
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