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balance Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a state of equilibrium
  2. noun equality between the totals of the credit and debit sides of an account
  3. noun harmonious arrangement or relation of parts or elements within a whole (as in a design)
    proportionality; proportion.
    • in all perfectly beautiful objects there is found the opposition of one part to another and a reciprocal balance"- John Ruskin
  4. noun equality of distribution
    equipoise; counterbalance; equilibrium.
  5. noun something left after other parts have been taken away
    residue; residuum; residual; rest; remainder.
    • there was no remainder
    • he threw away the rest
    • he took what he wanted and I got the balance
  6. noun the difference between the totals of the credit and debit sides of an account
  7. noun (astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Libra
  8. noun the seventh sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about September 23 to October 22
    Libra; Libra the Scales; Libra the Balance.
  9. noun (mathematics) an attribute of a shape or relation; exact reflection of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane
    symmetricalness; correspondence; symmetry.
  10. noun a weight that balances another weight
    counterpoise; equalizer; counterweight; equaliser; counterbalance.
  11. noun a wheel that regulates the rate of movement in a machine; especially a wheel oscillating against the hairspring of a timepiece to regulate its beat
    balance wheel.
  12. noun a scale for weighing; depends on pull of gravity
  13. verb bring into balance or equilibrium
    equilibrate; equilibrise; equilibrize.
    • She has to balance work and her domestic duties
    • balance the two weights
  14. verb compute credits and debits of an account
  15. verb hold or carry in equilibrium
  16. verb be in equilibrium
    • He was balancing on one foot

Bal"ance noun
OE. balaunce, F. balance, fr. L. bilan, bilancis, having two scales; bis twice (akin to E. two) + lanx plate, scale.
  1. An apparatus for weighing. ✍ In its simplest form, a balance consists of a beam or lever supported exactly in the middle, having two scales or basins of equal weight suspended from its extremities. Another form is that of the Roman balance, our steelyard, consisting of a lever or beam, suspended near one of its extremities, on the longer arm of which a counterpoise slides. The name is also given to other forms of apparatus for weighing bodies, as to the combinations of levers making up platform scales; and even to devices for weighing by the elasticity of a spring.
  2. Act of weighing mentally; comparison; estimate.
    A fair balance of the advantages on either side. Atterbury.
  3. Equipoise between the weights in opposite scales.
  4. The state of being in equipoise; equilibrium; even adjustment; steadiness.
    And hung a bottle on each side To make his balance true. Cowper.
    The order and balance of the country were destroyed. Buckle.
    English workmen completely lose their balance. J. S. Mill.
  5. An equality between the sums total of the two sides of an account; as, to bring one's accounts to a balance; -- also, the excess on either side; as, the balance of an account. " A balance at the banker's. " Thackeray.
    I still think the balance of probabilities leans towards the account given in the text. J. Peile.
  6. (Horol.) A balance wheel, as of a watch, or clock. See Balance wheel (in the Vocabulary).
  7. (Astron.) (a) The constellation Libra. (b) The seventh sign in the Zodiac, called Libra, which the sun enters at the equinox in September.
  8. A movement in dancing. See Balance, v. i., S.
Bal"ance transitive verb
From Balance, n.: cf. F. balancer.
imperfect & past participle Balanced (); present participle & verbal noun Balancing ()
  1. To bring to an equipoise, as the scales of a balance by adjusting the weights; to weigh in a balance.
  2. To support on a narrow base, so as to keep from falling; as, to balance a plate on the end of a cane; to balance one's self on a tight rope.
  3. To equal in number, weight, force, or proportion; to counterpoise, counterbalance, counteract, or neutralize.
    One expression . . . must check and balance another. Kent.
  4. To compare in relative force, importance, value, etc.; to estimate.
    Balance the good and evil of things. L'Estrange.
  5. To settle and adjust, as an account; to make two accounts equal by paying the difference between them.
    I am very well satisfied that it is not in my power to balance accounts with my Maker. Addison.
  6. To make the sums of the debits and credits of an account equal; -- said of an item; as, this payment, or credit, balances the account.
  7. To arrange accounts in such a way that the sum total of the debits is equal to the sum total of the credits; as, to balance a set of books.
  8. (Dancing) To move toward, and then back from, reciprocally; as, to balance partners.
  9. (Naut.) To contract, as a sail, into a narrower compass; as, to balance the boom mainsail. Syn. -- To poise; weigh; adjust; counteract; neutralize; equalize.
Bal"ance intransitive verb
  1. To have equal weight on each side; to be in equipoise; as, the scales balance.
  2. To fluctuate between motives which appear of equal force; to waver; to hesitate.
    He would not balance or err in the determination of his choice. Locke.
  3. (Dancing) To move toward a person or couple, and then back.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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