Definition of counterbalance in English:



  • 1A weight that balances another weight.

    ‘the trolley used a counterbalance and leverage action to reduce the effort of lifting loads’
    • ‘Don't tip your head and torso to one side as a counterbalance.’
    • ‘Each pump will undergo at least four calibration runs before computers work out the optimal number and positioning of counterbalances to keep the pump running smoothly and silently.’
    • ‘Choose a moderate weight for this exercise, as the weight is used primarily as a counterbalance.’
    • ‘This is a steady cam, and this is a system of counterbalances and pulleys.’
    • ‘This acted as a counterbalance and enabled the mirror to adjust to the height of different customers.’
    • ‘Thanks to a concave side on half of its weight block, the Pearl Assault creates a dynamic counterbalance and provides constant motion for strong hooks.’
    • ‘There's also a lift for disabled users which uses a counterbalance weight system.’
    • ‘This places the slide under the body to act as a counterbalance and avert falling off of the shot.’
    • ‘The weight is used as a counterbalance, and the contraction is generated by the squeezing of the muscles.’
    • ‘If the main hall is essentially an adaptable tent structure, then the concrete block to the north of the central axis acts as its sedentary counterbalance.’
    • ‘The loop was gently removed from the hook so that another weight could be attached to it to act as a counterbalance, hanging underneath the table opening.’
    • ‘The weight of the engine section in the back more than made up for the counterbalance needed to keep the ship upright, and he guessed that fact would hold true even when the cargo bay was fully loaded.’
    • ‘A counterbalance extended forward of the hinge line of each section.’
    • ‘Concaving one side of the weight block creates a dynamic counterbalance and provides constant motion for strong hook-and-roll characteristics.’
    • ‘The back spans were designed to serve as a counterbalance for the main span, making heavy concrete construction desirable.’
    • ‘The counterbalance, straight drive shafts and the unique torque converter maximize the power in a healthy vibration-free curve.’
    • ‘The mouthpiece is inserted into one end of the inner slide, and the bell joint is attached at the other, reaching back over the left shoulder to provide a counterbalance for the slide.’
    • ‘Do not lift the un-weighted foot out to the side as a counterbalance.’
    counterbalance, equipoise, counterweight, stabilizer, compensation, recompense, ballast, makeweight
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    1. 1.1A factor having the opposite effect to that of another and so preventing it from exercising a disproportionate influence.
      ‘his restoration to power was intended as a counterbalance to his rival's influence’
      • ‘On his return to England in 1042, as Edward the Confessor, he promoted many of these Frenchmen into positions of influence, as a counterbalance to the overweening power of the Godwine family.’
      • ‘The chart is a welcome counterbalance to a fairly extensive survey, produced last month by the online travel service Expedia, into attitudes around the world to various nationalities of holidaymaker.’
      • ‘This is a blueprint to allow us become a counterbalance to the larger urban areas like Dublin who have experienced phenomenal growth over the last 10 years.’
      • ‘We have noted that the judicial oversight function has emerged as a response, and a potential counterbalance, to the vesting of powers in the modern state.’
      • ‘The slow movements act as calming counterbalances to the dizzying pyrotechnics of the fast movements.’
      • ‘Firstly, it acts as a democratic counterbalance to the unelected European Commission, effectively the EU's civil service which initiates policy and proposes legislation.’
      • ‘Its aim should be to create a genuine counterbalance to the magnet of London by encouraging a trans-Pennine cluster based on the city regions of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.’
      • ‘Even the romance between Tarek and Dora, usually a weak link, is handled with enough delicacy here to provide an emotional counterbalance to the main action without descending to schlock.’
      • ‘In other words, these three acted as a triangular set of counterbalances to one another, and within that my father's position gave him at least enough authority, for example, to be able to lodge complaints against the army.’
      • ‘That's one more reason why when a Left government is in power we have to create a counterbalance, other movements aware of the inequality in society.’
      • ‘In seeking the best leverage and counterbalance for the shoulder roll, the arm will follow a path that puts it in the most effective position for the task.’
      • ‘The manner in which this is done musically eschews any single influence, building tension from the control and repetition of simple gestures in its own world of musical balance and counterbalance.’
      • ‘As a counterbalance to the gray work world, Gunn makes the stage an entire city and gives Rhoda a love interest, a mission to escape her bizarre existence and a highly acclaimed soundtrack.’
      • ‘These were the unstated values that provided a counterbalance to the economic reform and freedom agendas.’
      • ‘However, his cold prose is an effective counterbalance to the unabashed mysticism usually associated with any current writing about Tibet.’
      • ‘Along with others in the community, Esdon thought the notion of some alternative theatre in town was ‘a necessary counterbalance to our mainstream theatre.’’
      • ‘However, we hope Sprint-Nextel is preserved from the RBOC clutches to remain one of the best counterbalances to their growing power.’
      • ‘The other live theme throughout Downes's work, a counterbalance in his pictorial universe to the oppressive weight that structure imposes upon perception, is the liberating quality of contingency.’
      • ‘Another reason why people are making these documentaries is that they feel this is a little bit of a counterbalance and the only way they can get their voice out at all is going to be in the movie theaters and eventually the video market.’
      • ‘Anyone present in the Abbey, however, would surely have been left with a sense of positive encouragement, as a strong counterbalance to cynicism.’
      • ‘Slightly sweet, soothing and with a soft plump texture, they made an exquisite counterbalance to the heavier flavouring of some of the other dishes.’


  • 1 (of a weight) balance (another weight)

    ‘the sitter's weight counterbalances the tilting pressure on the backrest’
    • ‘The most I do for cheating is to progressively lean backward to counterbalance the weight when it starts getting awkward on later reps, but I never swing the weight.’
    • ‘At one point, the bull went up and right, and James, being skilled, counterbalanced by throwing his weight up and left.’
    • ‘If the deployment bag falls down at the same speed of the broken glider the weight of the swivel would counterbalance (at least partially) the drag on bridle and lines.’
    • ‘The decklid hinge includes a primary spring interconnecting the body side strap and the decklid strap to counterbalance a weight of the decklid when opening.’
    • ‘There are ways of counterbalancing the body in relationship to the leg, and then working to correct the position from there, as a secondary idea.’
    • ‘He had the rolling gait of a sailor, one arm levered out to counterbalance the weight of the blanketed bundle burdening the other.’
    • ‘This helps get more of your weight to the left side, which counterbalances the weight and force of the ball at release.’
    • ‘However, as your skill with this exercise improves, you may need to increase the weight slightly to better counterbalance your self-generated contractions.’
    • ‘The cantilever on the canal side is counterbalanced by the concrete ground floor on the land side.’
    • ‘This will shift some of your weight over and counterbalance the force of the ball coming through.’
    • ‘From the back and side views, the figure appears to thrust his pelvis slightly forward, a sense that is emphasized all the more by the slight bend in the knees which seems to counterbalance the figure's weight.’
    • ‘The handwheel turned easily since the weight of the machine's upper part was counterbalanced.’
    • ‘Its existence was hypothesized because the geographers of the day felt that something was needed to counterbalance the weight of the continents of the high northern latitudes around Greenland and the Arctic.’
    • ‘They had all these big weights trying to counterbalance it, but that was just making the cracks worse.’
    offset, balance, cancel out, make up for, pay back, pay, pay for, be enough for, fund, finance, make up, have enough money for, provide for
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    1. 1.1Neutralize or cancel by exerting an opposite influence.
      ‘the extra cost of mail order may be counterbalanced by its convenience’
      • ‘This secured him popular support that counterbalanced the opposition still evident in the Central Committee.’
      • ‘The temperature of the plasma is searing, so it can counterbalance atmospheric pressure even though its density is only two percent of normal air.’
      • ‘If mutations can solve the problem, then a cost-benefit analysis is needed to determine whether a mutagenic mechanism can provide benefits sufficient to counterbalance its cost.’
      • ‘Their presence is counterbalanced by fire hydrants and snow piles on the opposite side.’
      • ‘But if it is not counterbalanced by an opposite movement, then we can never say anything about what is there - what is presenting itself as this particular thing of this particular sort.’
      • ‘They are counterbalanced by the traction and stiffening of UA tissues resulting from the contraction of dilator muscles.’
      • ‘Make a list of emotional qualities to counterbalance your tendency to be critical in response to someone's criticism of you.’
      • ‘If love, an enduring human ideal, formed the subject of this show, this ideal was counterbalanced by the weight of inanimate things: stones, earth.’
      • ‘Since atoms were known to be electrically neutral, Thomson reasoned that there must be some positively charged material inside atoms to counterbalance the negative charges of electrons.’
      • ‘They represent the maximum size of possible transactions, assuming that they were not counterbalanced by other transactions in the opposite direction.’
      • ‘Of course, American financial and energy dependence is counterbalanced by the might of the Pentagon.’
      • ‘However, the movement advantage given by the small size and low weight just isn't enough to counterbalance the negatives brought on by the awkward round design and the difficult button layout.’
      • ‘However, parental monitoring may counterbalance the negative influence of peers on substance use.’
      • ‘The film-makers recognize that they can't put the genie back in the bottle, so they argue for people to counterbalance companies' power, and for truly responsive corporate behavior.’
      • ‘This transition to electronic voting cannot be justified, because any gains in efficiencies are counterbalanced by lost accountability.’
      • ‘The use of these colors was counterbalanced across tanks and provided cues to assist training of the fish.’
      • ‘The president's rapprochement was in part meant to counterbalance his deteriorating relationship with those segments of the armed forces leadership alarmed by the scale of the first family's corruption.’
      • ‘The critical examples in the new and old conditions were counterbalanced across subjects.’
      • ‘We need to counterbalance democratic pressures, not reinforce them in every way.’
      • ‘He knew that the influence of the economic elite had to be counterbalanced by journalists who were free to expose the truth about even the wealthiest predators.’
      compensate for, make up for, offset, balance, balance out, even out, equalize, neutralize, nullify, negate, undo, countervail, counterpoise, counteract
      counterweigh, equilibrize, negative
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