Balance

Noun

  • (obsolete, astrology) Libra
  • (uncountable) a state in which opposing forces harmonise; equilibrium
  • something of equal weight used to provide equilibrium (literally or figuratively); counterweight

    "Blair thought he could provide a useful balance to Bush's policies."

  • (uncountable) the overall result of conflicting forces, opinions etc.; the influence which ultimately "weighs" more than others

    "The balance of power finally lay with the Royalist forces."

  • (accounting) a list accounting for the debits on one side, and for the credits on the other.
  • (law) the remainder.

    "The balance of the agreement remains in effect."

  • something of equal weight used to provide equilibrium (literally or figuratively); counterweight

    "These weights are used as a balance for the overhanging verandah."

  • (uncountable) awareness of both viewpoints or matters; neutrality; rationality; objectivity
  • (uncountable) apparent harmony in art (between differing colours, sounds, etc.)
  • (watchmaking) a device used to regulate the speed of a watch, clock etc.
  • (uncountable) mental equilibrium; mental health; calmness, a state of remaining clear-headed and unperturbed
  • a pair of scales
  • (uncountable) the overall result of conflicting forces, opinions etc.; the influence which ultimately "weighs" more than others

    "I think the balance of opinion is that we should get out while we're ahead."

  • (accounting) the result of such a procedure; the difference between credit and debit of an account.

    "I just need to nip to a bank and check my balance."

Verb

  • (transitive) To hold (an object or objects) precariously; to support on a narrow base, so as to keep from falling.

    "I balanced my mug of coffee on my knee."

  • (transitive, dancing) To move toward, and then back from, reciprocally.

    "to balance partners"

  • (transitive) To make the credits and debits of (an account) correspond.

    "to balance a set of books"

  • (transitive, figuratively) To make (concepts) agree.
  • (transitive) To compare in relative force, importance, value, etc.; to estimate.
  • (transitive) To make the credits and debits of (an account) correspond.

    "This final payment, or credit, balances the account."

  • (intransitive) To have matching credits and debits.
  • (transitive) To bring (items) to an equipoise, as the scales of a balance by adjusting the weights.
  • (transitive) To hold (an object or objects) precariously; to support on a narrow base, so as to keep from falling.

    "The circus performer balances a plate on the end of a baton."

  • (nautical) To contract, as a sail, into a narrower compass.

    "to balance the boom mainsail"

  • (intransitive) To be in equilibrium.

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