Definition of equipoise in English:



mass noun
  • 1Balance of forces or interests.

    ‘this temporary equipoise of power’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is the opposite of what Buddhists call ‘meditative equipoise.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The concept of equipoise is essential to the requirement of scientific validity, and is particularly relevant to research that compares interventions.’
    • ‘Isn't it more accurately a state of creative tension when all apparent contradictions are held together in a state of dynamic equipoise?’
    • ‘There are also two figures, neither designed for equipoise, who could yet throw their decisive weight on to the scales of hope.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We must hold the scales of justice in equipoise, and however odious the offence, we must admeasure right to every one according to law.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This balance in opinion, which ethicists call equipoise, provides the ideal context for conducting a trial.’
    • ‘He kept on marching ahead with equipoise and firm determination.’
    • ‘In the meteoric incandescence of his beautiful youth, these qualities were in exquisite equipoise.’
    • ‘This state was in 50/50 equipoise long before the nation got to the 2000 debacle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rarely, treatment benefits are so obvious that a trial would clearly be unethical, but often lack of equipoise simply prevents studies.’
    • ‘Clinicians ideally should be in equipoise about the treatments being tested, and patients should give voluntary consent based on full disclosure of relevant information.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘The latter requirement is similar to that of clinical equipoise when human subjects participate in clinical trials.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The authors say, ‘We find it almost inconceivable that a rational patient with suspected prion disease would be in equipoise… between quinacrine and placebo.’’
    equilibrium, balance, evenness, symmetry, parity, equality, equity
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    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
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[with object]
  • Balance or counterbalance (something)

    ‘as a piece of language it is as delicately equipoised as any’
    • ‘It is simply the case that a position equipoised between two errors is unlikely to be true.’
    • ‘In other words, our behaviour must be balanced or equipoised between grief and glee.’
    • ‘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.’


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