Essential Meaning of balance
1 : the state of having your weight spread equally so that you do not fall He held on to the rail for balance. = He held on to the rail to keep/maintain his balance. She had trouble keeping her balance as the boat rocked back and forth. See More ExamplesThe skater suddenly lost his balance and fell. Another skater bumped into him and knocked/threw him off balance.
2 : the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling Gymnasts need flexibility and balance. She has a good sense of balance.
3 : a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance Temperature changes could upset the delicate balance of life in the forest. To lose weight you need the proper/right balance of diet and exercise. See More ExamplesThe food had a perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors. He needs to achieve/create/strike a better balance between his work life and his family life. [=he needs to spend less time at work and more time with his family] To provide balance in her news story, she interviewed members of both political parties. He's trying to keep his work life and his family life in balance. = He's trying to keep his work life in balance with his family life. [=he's trying to give a proper of amount of time and attention to both his work life and his family life] It's important to keep your life in balance. His work life and his family life are out of balance. = His work life is out of balance with his family life. If these ingredients are out of balance [=not used in good or correct amounts], the dish will not taste good. The death of his wife threw/sent his life out of balance.
Full Definition of balance
(Entry 1 of 2)
1a : physical equilibrium trouble keeping your balance on a sailboat lost his balance and fell a boxer kept off balance for a whole round
b : the ability to retain one's balance Gymnasts must have a good sense of balance.
2a : stability produced by even distribution of weight on each side of the vertical axis when the two sides of the scale are in balance tipped the statue off balance
b : equipoise between contrasting, opposing, or interacting elements … the balance we strike between security and freedom.— Earl Warren Both parties were interviewed to provide balance in the report. the right balance of diet and exercise
c accounting : equality between the totals of the two sides of an account
3a : an aesthetically pleasing integration of elements achieving balance in a work of art
b grammar : the juxtaposition in writing of syntactically parallel (see parallel entry 1 sense 3c) constructions containing similar or contrasting ideas (such as "to err is human; to forgive, divine")
4a accounting : an amount in excess especially on the credit side of an account has a comfortable balance in the bank You must maintain a minimum balance of $1000 in your account to avoid fees.
b : weight or force of one side in excess of another The balance of the evidence lay on the side of the defendant.
c : something left over : remainder answers will be given in the balance of this chapter— R. W. Murray
5 : mental and emotional steadiness I doubt that Thoreau would be thrown off balance by the fantastic sights and sounds of the 20th century.— E. B. White
6 : an instrument for weighing: such as
a : a beam that is supported freely in the center and has two pans of equal weight suspended from its ends
b : a device that uses the elasticity of a spiral spring for measuring weight or force
7 : a means of judging or deciding the balance of a free election
8 : a counterbalancing weight, force, or influence The comedic character serves as a balance to the serious subject matter of the play.
9 : an oscillating wheel operating with a hairspring to regulate the movement of a timepiece a watch's balance
in the balance or in balanceon balance
: with the fate or outcome about to be determined our future hangs in the balance as we await his decision
: with all things considered the meeting went well on balance
Definition of balance (Entry 2 of 2)
1a : to poise or arrange in or as if in balance balancing a book on her head The legislature hasn't balanced the budget in years.
b : to bring into harmony or proportion I struggled to balance my career and family life. a balanced diet
c : to bring to a state or position of balance (see balance entry 1 sense 2) balanced the scales by adding a little more on one side
2a(1) accounting : to compute the difference between the debits and credits of (an account) balancing a company's books
(2) : to pay the amount due on : settle sent a check to balance her account
b(1) : to arrange so that one set of elements exactly equals another balance a mathematical equation
(2) chemistry : to complete (a chemical equation) so that the same number of atoms and electric charges of each kind appears on each side
b : to equal or equalize in weight, number, or proportion The good times balanced the bad times.
4 : to weigh in or as if in a balance (see balance entry 1 sense 6) balance the profit and loss to see what had been gained
1 : to become balanced or established in balance Try balancing on one foot. The good times and bad times balanced out.
2 : to be an equal counterbalance —often used with out His speed will likely balance out his competitor's greater strength.The discount and the shipping charge balance each other out.
3 : waver sense 1 balances and temporizes on matters that demand action
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