Definition of equipoise in English:



mass noun
  • 1Balance of forces or interests.

    ‘this temporary equipoise of power’
    • ‘It is the opposite of what Buddhists call ‘meditative equipoise.’’
    • ‘For example, Brody has argued that patient equipoise is present if ‘a reasonable person of an average degree of altruism and risk adversiveness might consent to being randomised.’’
    • ‘It is probably idle to speculate about what that situation will be, but perhaps not unreasonable to point out that it could still be in some sort of equipoise.’
    • ‘This balance in opinion, which ethicists call equipoise, provides the ideal context for conducting a trial.’
    • ‘The latter requirement is similar to that of clinical equipoise when human subjects participate in clinical trials.’
    • ‘This state was in 50/50 equipoise long before the nation got to the 2000 debacle.’
    • ‘The proper equipoise and coordination of the sense organs aiming to help the body to perform its other functions normally are also counted as an important constituent of the well-being of a person.’
    • ‘The sick, glorious sport of ice climbing depends on physical equipoise, which depends on mental tranquility, which in turn depends on a smooth blend of faith and self-confidence.’
    • ‘We must hold the scales of justice in equipoise, and however odious the offence, we must admeasure right to every one according to law.’
    • ‘In the meteoric incandescence of his beautiful youth, these qualities were in exquisite equipoise.’
    • ‘Clinicians ideally should be in equipoise about the treatments being tested, and patients should give voluntary consent based on full disclosure of relevant information.’
    • ‘Rarely, treatment benefits are so obvious that a trial would clearly be unethical, but often lack of equipoise simply prevents studies.’
    • ‘Trial participation is a rational choice when an adequately informed patient is maximally uncertain in equipoise as to the relative efficacy and safety of comparator interventions.’
    • ‘Isn't it more accurately a state of creative tension when all apparent contradictions are held together in a state of dynamic equipoise?’
    • ‘The authors say, ‘We find it almost inconceivable that a rational patient with suspected prion disease would be in equipoise… between quinacrine and placebo.’’
    • ‘He kept on marching ahead with equipoise and firm determination.’
    • ‘She thus brought home to the vendor, and her disciples, that mental equipoise should not be shaken by the manner people greeted or treated a person.’
    • ‘The innovation of clinical equipoise is the recognition that study treatments, be they the experimental or control treatments, are potentially consistent with this standard of care.’
    • ‘The concept of equipoise is essential to the requirement of scientific validity, and is particularly relevant to research that compares interventions.’
    • ‘There are also two figures, neither designed for equipoise, who could yet throw their decisive weight on to the scales of hope.’
    equilibrium, balance, evenness, symmetry, parity, equality, equity
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A counterbalance or balancing force.
      ‘capital flows act as an equipoise to international imbalances in savings’
      • ‘One part supports the slider means H1-H5 and the other part functions as an equipoise to facilitate or enhance the rotating movement of the commutator arm.’
      • ‘The flying off and curling of the drapery by the wind serves as an equipoise to balance the projection of the Triton's elbow.’
      counterweight, counterbalance, counterpoise, balance
      View synonyms


  • Balance or counterbalance (something)

    ‘as a piece of language it is as delicately equipoised as any’
    • ‘If and when technologies stabilise, it may be too late to randomise: clinicians may have developed firm if unsubstantiated views, such that they are no longer equipoised.’
    • ‘In other words, our behaviour must be balanced or equipoised between grief and glee.’
    • ‘It is simply the case that a position equipoised between two errors is unlikely to be true.’


Mid 17th century: from equi- ‘equal’ + the noun poise, replacing the phrase equal poise.