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

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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 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, "Tom Stoppard’s Charmed and Haunted Life," 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, "Reënacting the Trial of a Black Woman Convicted of Voter Fraud," 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, "A Republican Foreign Policy," 5 Dec. 2019 Still, in a handful of scenes, Pose pulls this act off with perfect equipoise, a model of how to embody light in the dark. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Pose Lets In the Light," 12 June 2019 But from a biological standpoint, such equipoise is standard fare. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: Ties in Biology, Trump-Pfizer Takeaways, Obamacare Navigator Cuts," 11 July 2018 These little affectations only add to the overall equipoise, in the same way that a completely bare waiting room is eerie but a waiting room with a ficus evokes no feelings at all. Sasha Chapin, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Airport Layovers," 29 May 2018 Still, in a handful of scenes, Pose pulls this act off with perfect equipoise, a model of how to embody light in the dark. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Pose Lets In the Light," 12 June 2019 In his treatment of the Allah of the Quran, suspension of disbelief is finely balanced by a generous suspension of his own personal beliefs, and his book is all the stronger for this equipoise. Eric Ormsby, WSJ, "‘God in the Qur’an’ Review: Allah, a Biography," 16 Jan. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for equipoise

Time Traveler

The first known use of equipoise was in 1658

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Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Equipoise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equipoise. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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