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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
bal•ance /ˈbæləns/USA pronunciation
n., v., -anced, -anc•ing.
a state of being steady;
equilibrium: [uncountable]The two weights are in balance now.[count; usually singular]:trying to establish a new balance of nature's organisms.
usually singular] something that produces a state of balance :Her caution was the perfect balance to his impulsiveness.
[uncountable] the ability to maintain the body in a state of equilibrium:Gymnasts need superior balance.
Weights and Measures[countable] an instrument for weighing objects.
[count; usually singular] something that remains;
the rest:I'll do the balance of the work after vacation.
Business[countable] the amount of money in a bank account.
to bring to or hold in a state of balance: [~ + object]She can balance a book on her head.[no obj]:She balanced on one leg.
- [ ~ + obj] to add up the two sides of (an account) and determine the difference or make them equal:The accountant balanced the books.
[ ~ + obj + with/against + obj] to compare the relative weight or importance of (two things):You'll have to balance working longer hours against the opportunity to earn more money.
[ ~ + obj] to serve as a weight or influence on one side against another; offset:Fatigue was balanced by excitement.
- [no obj] to be in a state in which debts are equal to credits:The checkbook balances.
- Idiomsin the balance, with the outcome in doubt or suspense:The election hung in the balance.
- not steady :I was caught off balance and down I went.
- confused or surprised:The question threw me off balance.
- Idiomson balance, with all things considered:On balance living abroad was a good experience.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
balance /ˈbæləns/ n
- a weighing device, generally consisting of a horizontal beam pivoted at its centre, from the ends of which two pans are suspended. The substance to be weighed is placed in one pan and known weights are placed in the other until the beam returns to the horizontal
- a state of equilibrium
- something that brings about such a state
- equilibrium of the body; steadiness: to lose one's balance
- emotional stability; calmness of mind
- harmony in the parts of a whole
- the act of weighing factors, quantities, etc, against each other
- the power to influence or control: he held the balance of power
- something that remains or is left: let me have the balance of what you owe me
- equality of debit and credit totals in an account
- a difference between such totals
- in the balance ⇒ in an uncertain or undecided condition
- on balance ⇒ after weighing up all the factors
- strike a balance ⇒ to make a compromise
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin bilancia (unattested), from Late Latin bilanx having two scalepans, from bi-1 + lanx scaleˈbalanceable adj
- (transitive) to weigh in or as if in a balance
- (intransitive) to be or come into equilibrium
- (transitive) to bring into or hold in equilibrium
- (transitive) to assess or compare the relative weight, importance, etc, of
- (transitive) to act so as to equalize; be equal to
- (transitive) to compose or arrange so as to create a state of harmony
- (transitive) to bring (a chemical or mathematical equation) into balance
- (transitive) to compute the credit and debit totals of (an account) in order to determine the difference
- to equalize the credit and debit totals of (an account) by making certain entries
- to settle or adjust (an account) by paying any money due
- (intransitive) (of a business account, balance sheet, etc) to have the debit and credit totals equal
- to match or counter (one's dancing partner or his or her steps) by moving towards and away from him or her
Balance /ˈbæləns/ n
- the Balance ⇒ the constellation Libra, the seventh sign of the zodiac
'balance accounts' also found in these entries: