“Sway”, which basically means to influence, differs from the latter word [(“influence”)] in implying both the pressure or control of some force that is either not resisted or is in itself irresistible, and resulting change or fluctuation in character, opinions, or decisions of the person concerned.
the notion . . . of capricious deities, swayed by human passions and desires, was incompatible with the idea of fixed law
other conditions than those of classroom have swayed him for good or evil
he is swayed by fashion, by suggestion, by transient moods
I don’t get what the difference is between “sway” and “influence”, even with the explanation above.