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poise Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a cgs unit of dynamic viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter; the viscosity of a fluid in which a force of one dyne per square centimeter maintains a velocity of 1 centimeter per second
  2. noun a state of being balanced in a stable equilibrium
  3. noun great coolness and composure under strain
    sang-froid; cool; aplomb; assuredness.
    • keep your cool
  4. verb be motionless, in suspension
    • The bird poised for a few moments before it attacked
  5. verb prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult
  6. verb cause to be balanced or suspended
  7. verb hold or carry in equilibrium

Poise noun
OE. pois, peis, OF. pois, peis, F. poids, fr. L. pensum a portion weighed out, pendere to weigh, weigh out. Cf. Avoirdupois, Pendant, Poise, v.
  1. Weight; gravity; that which causes a body to descend; heaviness. "Weights of an extraordinary poise." Evelyn.
  2. The weight, or mass of metal, used in weighing, to balance the substance weighed.
  3. The state of being balanced by equal weight or power; equipoise; balance; equilibrium; rest. Bentley.
  4. That which causes a balance; a counterweight.
    Men of unbounded imagination often want the poise of judgment. Dryden.
Poise transitive verb
OE. poisen, peisen, OF. & F. peser, to weigh, balance, OF. il peise, il poise, he weighs, F. il pèse, fr. L. pensare, v. intens. fr. pendere to weigh. See Poise, n., and cf. Pensive.
imperfect & past participle Poised, ; present participle & verbal noun Poising
  1. To balance; to make of equal weight; as, to poise the scales of a balance.
  2. To hold or place in equilibrium or equiponderance.
    Nor yet was earth suspended in the sky; Nor poised, did on her own foundation lie. Dryden.
  3. To counterpoise; to counterbalance.
    One scale of reason to poise another of sensuality. Shak.
    To poise with solid sense a sprightly wit. Dryden.
  4. To ascertain, as by the balance; to weigh.
    He can not sincerely consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence. South.
  5. To weigh (down); to oppress. Obs.
    Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow. Shak.
Poise intransitive verb
  1. To hang in equilibrium; to be balanced or suspended; hence, to be in suspense or doubt.
    The slender, graceful spars Poise aloft in air. Longfellow.

Webster 1913