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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
bal•ance /ˈbæləns/USA pronunciation
n., v., -anced, -anc•ing. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
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.
(bal′əns), n., v., -anced, -anc•ing.
a state of equilibrium or equipoise;
equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.
something used to produce equilibrium;
mental steadiness or emotional stability;
habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.
a state of bodily equilibrium:He lost his balance and fell down the stairs.
Weights and Measuresan instrument for determining weight, typically by the equilibrium of a bar with a fulcrum at the center, from each end of which is suspended a scale or pan, one holding an object of known weight, and the other holding the object to be weighed.
the remainder or rest:He carried what he could and left the balance for his brother to bring.
the power or ability to decide an outcome by throwing one's strength, influence, support, or the like, to one side or the other.
Wine(in winemaking) the degree to which all the attributes of a wine are in harmony, with none either too prominent or deficient.
- equality between the totals of the two sides of an account.
- the difference between the debit total and the credit total of an account.
Businessan adjustment of accounts.
the act of balancing; comparison as to weight, amount, importance, etc.;
- unpaid difference represented by the excess of debits over credits.
preponderating weight:The balance of the blame is on your side.
Fine Art[Fine Arts.]composition or placement of elements of design, as figures, forms, or colors, in such a manner as to produce an aesthetically pleasing or harmoniously integrated whole.
[Dance.]a balancing movement.
TimeAlso called balance wheel. [Horol.]a wheel that oscillates against the tension of a hairspring to regulate the beats of a watch or clock.
Astrology(cap.)[Astron., Astrol.]the constellation or sign of Libra;
Sound Reproduction[Audio.](in a stereophonic sound system) the comparative loudness of two speakers, usually set by a control(balance control) on the amplifier or receiver.
Idiomsin the balance, with the outcome in doubt or suspense:While the jury deliberated, his fate rested in the balance.
Idiomson balance, considering all aspects:On balance, the new product is doing well.
to bring to or hold in equilibrium; poise:to balance a book on one's head.
to arrange, adjust, or proportion the parts of symmetrically.
to be equal or proportionate to:I'm always happy when cash on hand balances expected expenses. One side of an equation must balance the other.
- to add up the two sides of (an account) and determine the difference.
- to make the necessary entries in (an account) so that the sums of the two sides will be equal.
to weigh in a balance.
to estimate the relative weight or importance of;
- to settle by paying what remains due on an account; equalize or adjust.
compare:to balance all the probabilities of a situation.
to serve as a counterpoise to;
offset:The advantages more than balance the disadvantages.
[Dance.]to move in rhythm to and from:to balance one's partner.
Businessto have an equality or equivalence in weight, parts, etc.; be in equilibrium:The account doesn't balance. Do these scales balance?
Business[Accountableing.]to reckon or adjust accounts.
to waver or hesitate:He would balance and temporize endlessly before reaching a decision.
[Dance.]to move forward and backward or in opposite directions.
3 . poise, composure.6 . See remainder. 13 . See symmetry.
(bal′ən sā′; Fr. ba län sā′), n., pl. -cés
- Vulgar Latin *balancia, variant of *bilancia, equivalent. to Late Latin bilanc- (stem of bilanx with double scales; Latin bi- bi-1 + lanx metal dish, pan of a pair of scales) + -ia -ia
- Anglo-French; Old French balance
- Middle English balaunce 1250–1300
(-sāz′; Fr. -sā′).
Dance, Music and Dancea swaying step performed in place in which the weight is lightly shifted from one foot to the other, the dancer sinking down on the heel of the foot to which the body is shifting, with flexed knees.
Etymology: French, noun, nominal use of past participle of balancer to balance, swing, rock
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: