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


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

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 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 Christ—the anatomy of man in God’s image—and the cross—the structural geometric intersection—align in precise aesthetic and spiritual equipoise. Vogue, "Measure for Measure," 11 Oct. 2017 No matter how heavy the weather on his surfaces, all the elements of his pictures have museum-grade equipoise. The New Yorker, "Adrian Ghenie," 31 Mar. 2017 All the same, there’s something about munching on human flesh that wrecks your equipoise in ways that almost nothing else does, classic vampirism... Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Raw’ Review: A Matter of Taste," 9 Mar. 2017

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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Statistics for equipoise

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for equipoise

The first known use of equipoise was in 1658

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with equipoise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for equipoise

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