a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.
something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
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.
unpaid difference represented by the excess of debits over credits.
Businessan adjustment of accounts.
the act of balancing; comparison as to weight, amount, importance, etc.; estimate.
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; Scales.
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 settle by paying what remains due on an account; equalize or adjust.
to weigh in a balance.
to estimate the relative weight or importance of; compare:to balance all the probabilities of a situation.
to serve as a counterpoise to; counterbalance; 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.
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
bal′ance•a•ble,adj. 3. poise, composure. 6. See remainder.13. See symmetry. bal•an•cé(bal′ən sā′; Fr. ba län sā′), n., pl.-cés(-sāz′; Fr. -sā′). [Ballet.]
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
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
(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
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin bilancia (unattested), from Late Latin bilanx having two scalepans, from bi-1 + lanx scale
the Balance ⇒ the constellation Libra, the seventh sign of the zodiac