equi·​poise | \ ˈe-kwə-ˌpȯiz How to pronounce equipoise (audio) , ˈē- \

Definition of equipoise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a state of equilibrium


equipoised; equipoising; equipoises

Definition of equipoise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to serve as an equipoise to
2 : to put or hold in equipoise

Examples of equipoise in a Sentence

Noun when participating in any dangerous sport, one should maintain an equipoise between fearless boldness and commonsense caution her frugality is a much-needed equipoise to her husband's spendthrift ways
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the particular soil composition, plus the balance achieved through bright sunlight hours and the cool climate, indeed produce fully mature tannins and equipoise of acidity and alcohol. Jill Barth, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 Western Europe at the end of the 15th century was characterized by a unique equipoise between political fracture and civilizational unity. Razib Khan, National Review, 31 July 2021 Cézanne’s scattershot approach triumphed in his conflations of surface with depth, which abolished perspective by locating the near and the relatively distant with shading and color, perceived all at once in increasingly perfect equipoise. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 21 June 2021 But the slickness and equipoise of Tangled Up in Blue betray themselves. Patrick Blanchfield, The New Republic, 25 May 2021 Faye rarely looks inward; those books exude a kind of chilly spiritual equipoise. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 29 Apr. 2021 His stance is one of equipoise, and his lifelong theme, which answers to his forgiving instincts, is human error: the gravest, the looniest, and the most enduring of all tautologies. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 22 Feb. 2021 Hughes’s mastery of American sentimentalizing rhetoric and his irony regarding the country’s actual workings sit in stark equipoise. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 2 Nov. 2020 Russia, meanwhile, had recovered its equipoise and some of its strength and turned decidedly — in some ways, violently — against a friendly approach toward the West. Elbridge Colby, National Review, 5 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The authors do a great job demonstrating that allowing respect for autonomy has, at a minimum, equipoise with the authoritarian approach, if not superiority, when considering a range of measures of health and happiness. WSJ, 3 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equipoise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of equipoise


1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of equipoise was in 1658

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Dictionary Entries Near equipoise

equipment trust certificate



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Cite this Entry

“Equipoise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equipoise. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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