balance: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (bal'uns), [key]
— n., v., -anced, -anc•ing.
  1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.
  2. something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
  3. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.
  4. a state of bodily equilibrium: He lost his balance and fell down the stairs.
  5. an 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.
  6. the remainder or rest: He carried what he could and left the balance for his brother to bring.
  7. the power or ability to decide an outcome by throwing one's strength, influence, support, or the like, to one side or the other.
  8. (in winemaking) the degree to which all the attributes of a wine are in harmony, with none either too prominent or deficient.
    1. equality between the totals of the two sides of an account.
    2. the difference between the debit total and the credit total of an account.
    3. unpaid difference represented by the excess of debits over credits.
  9. an adjustment of accounts.
  10. the act of balancing; comparison as to weight, amount, importance, etc.; estimate.
  11. preponderating weight: The balance of the blame is on your side.
  12. 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.
  13. a balancing movement.
  14. Also calleda wheel that oscillates against the tension of a hairspring to regulate the beats of a watch or clock.
  15. (cap.)the constellation or sign of Libra; Scales.
  16. (in a stereophonic sound system) the comparative loudness of two speakers, usually set by a control on the amplifier or receiver.
  17. with the outcome in doubt or suspense: While the jury deliberated, his fate rested in the balance.
  18. considering all aspects: On balance, the new product is doing well.
  1. to bring to or hold in equilibrium; poise: to balance a book on one's head.
  2. to arrange, adjust, or proportion the parts of symmetrically.
  3. 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.
    1. to add up the two sides of (an account) and determine the difference.
    2. to make the necessary entries in (an account) so that the sums of the two sides will be equal.
    3. to settle by paying what remains due on an account; equalize or adjust.
  4. to weigh in a balance.
  5. to estimate the relative weight or importance of; compare: to balance all the probabilities of a situation.
  6. to serve as a counterpoise to; counterbalance; offset: The advantages more than balance the disadvantages.
  7. to move in rhythm to and from: to balance one's partner.
  1. to have an equality or equivalence in weight, parts, etc.; be in equilibrium: The account doesn't balance. Do these scales balance?
  2. to reckon or adjust accounts.
  3. to waver or hesitate: He would balance and temporize endlessly before reaching a decision.
  4. to move forward and backward or in opposite directions.


Pronunciation: (bal"un-sā' Fr. ba-län-sā'), [key]
— pl. -cés
  1. a 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: