Synonyms & Antonyms of poise

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a condition in which opposing forces are equal to one another
  • there must be a poise between the rights of the individual and the rights of society

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2 a general way of holding the body
  • the woman's poise suggested that she was accustomed to having her wishes carried out promptly and without question

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Synonyms & Antonyms of poise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to prepare (oneself) mentally or emotionally
  • the disgraced business executive poised herself for the difficult press conference

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2 to rest or move along the surface of a liquid or in the air
  • the falcon poised in the air for an instant before diving to attack its prey

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Frequently Asked Questions About poise

How is the word poise different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of poise are address, savoir faire, and tact. While all these words mean "skill and grace in dealing with others," poise may imply both tact and address but stresses self-possession and ease in meeting difficult situations.

answered the accusations with unruffled poise

When would address be a good substitute for poise?

The words address and poise can be used in similar contexts, but address stresses dexterity and grace in dealing with new and trying situations and may imply success in attaining one's ends.

brought it off with remarkable address

When can savoir faire be used instead of poise?

The words savoir faire and poise are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, savoir faire is likely to stress worldly experience and a sure awareness of what is proper or expedient.

the savoir faire of a seasoned traveler

Where would tact be a reasonable alternative to poise?

The meanings of tact and poise largely overlap; however, tact implies delicate and considerate perception of what is appropriate.

questions showing a lack of tact

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Time Traveler for poise

Time Traveler

The first known use of poise was in 1597

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Cite this Entry

“Poise.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on poise

Nglish: Translation of poise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poise for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about poise


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