off-balance

adjective (or adverb)

Definition of off-balance 

1 : not well proportioned : out of balance the plans are off-balance their military is off-balance

2 : not standing, sitting, or resting in normal physical equilibrium caught off-balance and knocked down— Jack Dempsey

3a : upset from or in a state of being upset by confusion : upsetting the off-balance presentation of alternatives— S. L. Payne keep us off-balance

b : into a state of surprise from the unexpected may turn us momentarily off-balance by saying one thing when he means another— R. B. West

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Learn More about off-balance

Share off-balance

Statistics for off-balance

Look-up Popularity

More from Merriam-Webster on off-balance

Spanish Central: Translation of off-balance

Comments on off-balance

What made you want to look up off-balance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!