Definition of balance in English:

balance

noun

  • 1An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

    ‘she lost her balance before falling’
    ‘slipping in the mud but keeping their balance’
    • ‘They allow him unusual balance, enabling him to overcome gravity and stay upright when he should be prone.’
    • ‘His balance enables him to ride horses with his toes barely in the stirrup.’
    • ‘If you can achieve a good posture at address then it becomes much easier to remain in balance throughout the swing.’
    • ‘As he stepped back outside, Blair was there, laying a hand on the body to steady Jim's balance during the short walk to the shallow grave.’
    • ‘This weight balance is easier to achieve with a RWD car.’
    • ‘Scioscia raves about Eckstein's balance, saying it enables him to throw with maximum velocity.’
    • ‘I lost my balance and reached to steady myself on the only available surface - his chest.’
    • ‘Suddenly the vision blurred as quick as it had appeared, and she had to brace herself against the door frame to steady her balance.’
    • ‘By widening his stance, Jones has improved his balance, enabling him to be less jumpy and more selective.’
    • ‘Then, using all his might, pulled the weight up to his shoulders and sat on his legs, bearing the weight with perfect balance.’
    • ‘The suspension system has been upgraded and the hybrid engine moved back to achieve better front-to-rear weight balance.’
    • ‘His range of bats includes the ProSelect, ProElite and ProBlanco, which differ in balance and weight.’
    • ‘This is kept as close as possible to the middle of the car for a good weight balance.’
    • ‘Damia waved her arms frantically, almost losing her balance on her steady horse.’
    • ‘If your bridge elbow is locked, this is a sure sign of of poor balance and weight distribution.’
    • ‘Judo, I have been told, is all about exploiting subtle changes in balance and weight distribution.’
    • ‘The vertical semi-circular canals of the human ear are very large (unlike those of apes), to enable upright balance.’
    • ‘Develop good balance and you'll remain a dynamo well into old age.’
    • ‘I fell forward, but found my footing just in time and regained my balance by steadying myself up against a letter box.’
    • ‘She shoved him back, but the space between the walls was not much bigger than the two of them, and he merely reached a hand back to steady his balance.’
    stability, equilibrium, steadiness, footing
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Sailing The ability of a boat to stay on course without adjustment of the rudder.
      • ‘Being careful about the boat's balance, she stepped into the white base of the small craft and knelt in the slightly indented hold.’
      • ‘Right when we crest, that is the point we let off the throttle to lessen the impact and maintain control of the balance and pivot point.’
      • ‘Every boat needs balance and this four has found it, despite the last-minute changes and despite the doubt.’
      • ‘The present invention relates to light dropkeel sailboats in which the transverse balance of the boat is controlled.’
      • ‘As you are aware, proper helm balance is a very desirable factor on a sailing yacht’
  • 2A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

    in singular ‘try to keep a balance between work and relaxation’
    ‘overseas investments can add balance to an investment portfolio’
    • ‘Opposites and balance of course figure prominently in Taoism, friend of the yin yang and the five elements.’
    • ‘Once a wound is obtained, healing depends on the ability to maintain bacterial balance.’
    • ‘The strategic issue for a country's leadership is to decide what is the correct balance between guns and butter.’
    • ‘What is the correct balance between these competing factors?’
    • ‘Imagine I am in my lab coat, focused on colour, bouquet, flavour and feel, balance and structure, being as empirical as possible.’
    • ‘The unification of Germany was his life's work, in which he was greatly assisted by his opponents' inability to analyse the balance of forces realistically.’
    • ‘We must, as goal setters and achievers, find the correct balance between reward for enterprise and sustainability.’
    • ‘Reasonable and accurate perceptions, therefore, are key to striking the correct balance between work and procrastination.’
    • ‘Whether the public perceives the benefits of having a greater gender balance remains uncertain.’
    • ‘So if he sees staffers putting in lengthy hours at the office, he doesn't hesitate to take steps to make sure their home lives remain in balance.’
    • ‘Health is seen as a matter of balance, an ability to live in physical and mental harmony within a given environment.’
    • ‘The question of whether English law strikes the correct balance between concerns of free speech and the protection of reputations may now be considered.’
    • ‘The earth's miraculously complex environment has remained in balance for thousands of years, allowing human beings to thrive.’
    • ‘Select a material that will stay in balance with your garden.’
    • ‘As long as the biochemical balance stays close to its normal range, the cell carries on perfectly well.’
    • ‘Students find that classes that meet every other week or so seem to strike the correct balance between isolation and overload.’
    • ‘One can also say that a nuclear bomb wouldn't have changed the balance of forces against any possible enemy.’
    • ‘Reforms to the state, then, are not the product of those who preach reformist methods but of the balance of class forces in society.’
    • ‘What is the correct balance between avoiding discriminatory employment practices and giving good customer service and applying good old common sense?’
    • ‘But those benefits can only be sustained when trade remains in rough balance.’
    fairness, justice, impartiality, egalitarianism, equal opportunity
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Stability of one's mind or feelings.
      ‘the way to some kind of peace and personal balance’
      • ‘He spends as much time as he can with them to maintain emotional balance.’
      • ‘When your emotional balance stabilizes, you may think differently.’
      • ‘Religious certitude, for many fundamentalists, is the portal to cognitive balance and emotional stability.’
      • ‘The boy is shocked at the old man's death and loses his mental balance.’
      • ‘A man who had lost his mental balance was wandering without clothes.’
      • ‘With the sudden highs and disturbing lows, especially in the fragile lives of young celebs, mental peace and balance is hard to maintain.’
      • ‘It seems to me that his mental balance was sometimes affected and that drink was not good for him.’
      • ‘The method integrates the physical growth and emotional balance of children with intellectual capability.’
      • ‘Acupuncture is known to stimulate endorphins, and so can reduce cravings and restore emotional balance.’
      • ‘Certainly, no person in an unsound state of mind can be left on his own in the hope that the religious environs would help him regain his mental balance.’
      • ‘When the abandoned child is feeling its pain and loss, the rest of the adult person is unable to find emotional balance.’
      • ‘This is not a point I like to ponder too much, lest it tip the mental balance.’
      • ‘That can be a difficult thing to do, requiring emotional balance, maturity, and analytic clarity - a huge effort.’
      • ‘In other words, omega - 3 fats help to conserve brain energy and help us maintain mental balance.’
      • ‘About that time, I recall having lost my mental balance somewhat.’
      • ‘Strachan has worked hard to instill the right mental balance in his side.’
      • ‘Another mysterious incident, which happened six months later, destroyed his mental balance completely.’
      • ‘Such a dynamic balancing process does not assume the existence or practicality of achieving an optimal emotional balance.’
      • ‘To deprive humans of even one emotion would taint the stability of balance.’
      • ‘I think for my own sanity and emotional balance, that's the best tack I can take with it, really.’
      composure, assurance, self-assurance, self-control, calmness, coolness, cool head
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2in singular The relative volume of various sources of sound.
      ‘the balance of the voices is good’
      • ‘Many portions of Tchaikovsky's Fourth benefit from a lighter sound and more balance among sections.’
      • ‘Parmentier offers us a level of detail and balance of voices not found on any other recordings.’
      • ‘Had to alter the volume balance earlier, as the music - which is decent and atmospheric - is drowned out by the engine noise at the defaults.’
      • ‘When setting up your speakers and audio system, the Speaker Wizard guides you through it and helps you adjust balance and fade controls.’
      • ‘The sound provided by CPO is open and detailed, with voices and piano in proper balance.’
      • ‘Thereafter he was internationally sought after and revered as a master of balance, style, and ensemble precision in opera.’
      • ‘Pires is best known as an outstanding Mozart interpreter, and she brings a very Mozartian sense of balance and nuance to her Beethoven.’
      • ‘The recording offers a natural concert balance rather than a spot-lit vehicle for the soloist, an ideal match for Hough's selfless virtuosity.’
      • ‘With the best will in the world, no one in the audience seems remotely interested in the sound balance.’
      • ‘It's basically a copy of what's on the Italian bootleg with a bit of tweaking to even out the sound balance where they got it wrong.’
      • ‘The Nighthawk uses touchpad controls for power, volume and sound balance.’
      • ‘Technically, it was an absolute blinder - lighting, sound balance, and music were all spot on.’
      • ‘The main thing that strikes me is the perfect balance, or relief as Stokowski called it, between the orchestra and piano.’
      • ‘Surely this exquisite balance would have appealed to such a discerning composer.’
      • ‘I learned to listen for each voice, to achieve the proper balance among the voices in replication as well as in my own interpretation.’
      • ‘The performance is a remarkable example of the maestro's eloquent stick technique and ear for instrumental balance.’
      • ‘Dausgaard is a conductor with remarkable gifts and a fine ear for balance and quality of sound.’
      • ‘It was taped at the Royal Festival Hall on the 18th of September 1983 in immaculate sound and balance.’
      • ‘Which is understandable, but a touch of balance would make him sound a tad more professional and perhaps make it possible to listen to him without cringing.’
      • ‘It's warmer than Boult, not as passionate as Barbirolli, and far more assured in its textural balance than Previn.’
    3. 2.3Art Harmony of design and proportion.
      • ‘Myers has created a place where opposites meet and strike a natural, harmonious balance.’
      • ‘Composition, balance, the skill of the draughtmanship, the function of the work and its emotive power are all integral.’
      • ‘A fine example of balance and grace, Mercury is classically modernist in its proportions and implications.’
      • ‘Raphael absorbed the classical qualities of harmony, clarity and balance which were always after associated with him.’
      • ‘This portrait visualized the sense of order and balance, by the organization of line, expression of the figure and his gesture.’
      arrangement, disposition, layout, design, organization, construction
      View synonyms
  • 3An apparatus for weighing, especially one with a central pivot, beam, and a pair of scales.

    • ‘But the amounts had to be cut to the size of the transaction and weighed out with balance scales.’
    • ‘This is because chemical beam balances are eagerly sought by collectors of scientific instruments.’
    • ‘Coins are split into groups that are weighed against each other on a balance scale.’
    • ‘At the entrance stand the king, his wife, sons and courtiers weighing a young prince in a balance against gems and precious metals.’
    • ‘The advantage of the watt balance, or counting atoms, is that any country can recreate them, Mohr argues.’
    • ‘The weighbridge itself was an Avery platform scales with a graduated sliding bar balance which indicated the weight on the platform.’
    • ‘By application of substitution weighing some systematic errors of the beam balance are omitted.’
    • ‘The transpiration was recorded from the weight change of the whole apparatus sitting on a balance.’
    • ‘Thus, to weigh a bird, a pan balance fitted with a perch was placed in the cage.’
    • ‘The museum currently has thirty-eight complete chronometers and twenty-three chronometer balances.’
    • ‘Indeed, whatever stands in dispute and needs a ruling the pointer of the balance will determine.’
    • ‘He uses the balance scale in the decision aid as a starting point to focus discussion.’
    • ‘In 1669 he invented the Roberval balance which is now almost universally used for weighing scales of the balance type.’
    • ‘I've been using the kitchen balance scale and must have miscounted the total of the little brass weights.’
    • ‘Lower costs is the main issue that weighs the balance heavily in favour of India.’
    • ‘I weighed in the balances what drinking had gained me versus what it had cost me.’
    • ‘Some children depicted even weighing balances in the stalls and gave the merchants a traditional attire for an added touch of originality.’
    • ‘The vials were randomized within the growth cabinet and weighed on an analytical balance at 1-2 h intervals.’
    • ‘If you are interested in purchasing a balance, I can recommend one made by Lyman for weighing gunpowder and bullets.’
    • ‘The atomic weight of an element - the quantity chemists could weigh with scales and balances - depends on the number of protons and neutrons, which have virtually equal masses.’
    scale, scales, weighing machine, weighbridge
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 The zodiacal sign or constellation Libra.
  • 4A counteracting weight or force.

    • ‘The fractional ejection reflects a balance of forces between the inside and outside of the capsid.’
    • ‘Once the load of the upper crust is removed from the lower crust, the balance of forces that act on the plate causes uplift of the high mountain.’
    • ‘The total membrane area is a sensitive diagnosis for the force balance within the membrane.’
    • ‘A proper balance of the two forces is necessary to achieve sustained prosperity.’
    • ‘If the coaches are stubborn enough to force a balance, the offense again will be one of the NFL's best.’
    • ‘It's a pity, though, that she didn't inject just a whisker of balance in the course of 3,000 doom-laden words.’
    • ‘Disparate methods for defining force and torque balances and for calculating the mass balance of receptors therefore result.’
    • ‘Allow centrifugal force to provide balance while both skates tip onto their left edges in the turn.’
    • ‘At the level of popular feeling, and not just in the Muslim world, a countervailing balance is taking shape.’
    • ‘It is essential that the balance between the weight of your sinker and the line you are using is such that you can constantly feel your sinker tapping the bottom.’
    • ‘We also obtain detailed measurements of the balance of forces involved in detaching an adhering bead with a flow.’
    • ‘The three-way balance between centrifugal force, Coriolos force, and the pressure-gradient force is called the gradient flow.’
    • ‘That meant it was a bit of a guess for the balance on new tyres, but our car always goes well over one lap and I tried my best.’
    counterbalance, equipoise, counterweight, stabilizer, compensation, recompense, ballast, makeweight
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 The regulating device in a mechanical clock or watch.
      • ‘Choosing titanium, from among other light metals, in order to make a watch balance wheel, has never been envisaged until now.’
      • ‘Here he still positions his hammer on the right as in a balance wheel clock in order to allow separate winding of each train.’
      • ‘Around 1675, Huygens developed the balance wheel and spring assembly.’
      • ‘In particular he queries the statement made by Einstein in his famous paper of [I905], that "a balance-clock at the equator must go more slowly.’
      • ‘It is a balance wheel movement and it is obvious that the problem is a badly distorted balance spring.’
      • ‘Your clock has a floating balance mechanism.’
      • ‘The complete watch balance consists of the balance wheel, the balance spring and the balance staff.’
      • ‘For a balance wheel clock, there are no particular adjustments that you can make to keep it running.’
      • ‘The balance and spring are known as a "rotary oscillating system."’
      • ‘Coupled to its spring, the balance of a watch is the controlling device.’
      • ‘On a spindle of a pendulum or balance clock, a spring is fixed, connected with the positive battery wire.’
      • ‘Secondly, a moving magnet moves in relation to the earth's magnetic field, so the behaviour of the balance might be affected.’
      • ‘As early as 1665 Robert Moray had announced that Robert Hooke had lectured for the Royal Society about providing the balance of a clock with a spring.’
      • ‘The MicroSet Watch Timer Pro allows you to measure the amplitude of vibration of a watch balance wheel to a high degree of accuracy.’
      • ‘Designed by Fail, it demonstrates the balance wheel rather well.’
  • 5A predominating weight or amount; the majority.

    ‘the balance of opinion was that work was more important than leisure’
    • ‘The balance of the glorious afternoon was spent sitting in Lucy's screened porch chatting and catching up on gossip.’
    • ‘The balance of shares is held by approximately 170 shareholders.’
    • ‘The balance of recent history, as well as the flow of this match, suggests that the Americans, with their greater strength in depth, hold a definite advantage.’
    • ‘The balance of time not spent battling the bad guy or training is fairly well spent building the relationships between the SWAT members.’
    • ‘The balance of this brief will consist of two sections.’
    • ‘The balance of her time is spent in Hong Kong, her home base.’
    • ‘But there is an important factor here which suggests that the balance of the deal still weighs somewhat away from a pure consumer move for Intel.’
    • ‘The balance of trust and the preponderance of suspicion were all skewed in Taunton today.’
    • ‘The balance of the places are allocated on a random basis.’
    • ‘The balance of the schedule visits markets that have a long and storied tradition in sport compact drag racing.’
    • ‘The balance of economists are expecting a hike next month rather than this, but any rise could start to hit consumer spending and any slowdown in the mortgage market will hurt banks.’
    • ‘The balance of the argument now says that Betfair operates in a way that not only does not diminish the integrity of racing but actually enhances it.’
    • ‘The balance of rational decision-making seems to point against the link.’
    • ‘The balance of the first half saw the Suns camped firmly in their defensive half with the Lions unlucky not to break the deadlock by half time.’
    • ‘The campaign is from then on to hold or win the balance who tend normally to make up about forty percent of the electorate.’
    • ‘The balance of poignant to funny material is now a bit out of kilter and I have to get into the premise of the whole thing a lot more quickly.’
    • ‘The balance of the 308 Commons seats is held by returning MPs.’
    • ‘The balance of the contaminated ingredient and all of the compound feed containing it on the manufacturers premises were impounded.’
    • ‘The balance of the tax must be paid on or before the return filing date.’
    • ‘The balance of gloating now seems to have moved to the supposed determination of the Americans to grab all the reconstruction contracts.’
  • 6A figure representing the difference between credits and debits in an account; the amount of money held in an account.

    ‘he accumulated a healthy balance with the savings bank’
    • ‘The first six policies in the list pay you a monthly benefit of a tenth of your balance throughout the course of your claim.’
    • ‘No banking charges for normal transactions if balance remains above minimum deposit level.’
    • ‘Her reason for withholding the balance is quite simple, she is objecting to a rise in council tax of nearly 18% last year.’
    • ‘The text will also give you a regular update on your balance.’
    • ‘But in the short term the premiums did allow him to clear the debit balance on the 88888 account at month-ends and other reporting dates.’
    • ‘With holiday bills still clobbering your credit-card balances and income taxes coming up soon, who has the money to burn for an expensive spring break?’
    • ‘He added that the grant does nothing to deal with the £12m hole in schools' balances, triggered by a shortfall in last year's grant.’
    • ‘This reflects the myth that the trust funds' balances represent an asset.’
    • ‘This service will provide an automated process of bookings of the client's local balances into one central location.’
    • ‘It is unclear, however, if the listed entity has any resources to foot the bill as its last two filings to the American securities regulator showed cash balances of zero.’
    • ‘Last transaction details including date, type of transport, fare deducted for that journey and remaining balance are displayed.’
    • ‘But if you don't maintain the minimum balance, watch out - you'll get soaked on fees.’
    • ‘In order to claim a loss on IRA investments, you must withdraw the entire balance from all your IRAs of the same type.’
    • ‘A spokesperson for Powergen confirmed today the bill was a result of a meter error and the balance owing on Mrs Wade's account was just 21.76.’
    • ‘These funds of which you speak are credit balances in a bank account, are they?’
    • ‘Grant observed that the fund balance for the Association remains steady.’
    • ‘Tesco also offers new customers a discount rate of 4.9 per cent on balances transferred, for the first six months.’
    • ‘Thus it necessarily follows that if the private sector moves into deficit, the sum of the other two balances must move in the same way.’
    • ‘It therefore set off without notice the credit balance in the current account against the sum due under the loan account.’
    • ‘The credit balance in your current account offsets your mortgage debt, reducing your interest bill even more.’
    1. 6.1 The difference between an amount due and an amount paid.
      ‘unpaid credit-card balances’
      • ‘Please accept my donation of $1000.00 to be applied against the outstanding balance of your laser printer.’
      • ‘Miss paying off the balance by the due date and you could negate all of your hard work.’
      • ‘With lawyers' fees plus the balance of the original bill, the total comes to almost $40,000!’
      • ‘This optional life, accident, sickness and unemployment insurance pays off your balance if you die, or pays your monthly repayments if you can't work.’
      • ‘When the corporate plan was terminated after four years, Plotkin paid tax on the unpaid loan balance with his income tax return.’
      • ‘The balance sheet of a retired couple with their rising bank deposit balances must be getting better while their son and daughter-in-law move deeper and deeper into debt.’
      • ‘If the full amount of the mortgage is being lent on a fixed rate, the mortgageholder usually can't pay off some of the capital balance using a lump sum.’
      • ‘Soon everything from credit-card balances to auto loans was being repackaged.’
      • ‘However, nothing can lead to poor credit quicker than the misuse of credit cards - several cards in one's name, huge unpaid balances, and late payments.’
      • ‘And they've already paid off several credit card balances.’
      • ‘Even if that entire amount were applied to the bill, paying off the balance would take 20 years.’
      • ‘That would explain the higher bankruptcy rate and larger credit-card balances observed in 1997.’
      • ‘You must pay this fee even if you pay off your balance when your credit card bill arrives.’
      • ‘That means that your payments won't touch the new charges until your original balance transfer has been paid off.’
      • ‘When your clients are running late on their payments, it is unlikely that they will be able to retire the entire balance in one payment.’
      • ‘If 3 percent interest were given on the unpaid balance, then sixty-four years would be necessary.’
      • ‘Other times when enough money is involved, they file suit to collect the unpaid balances.’
      • ‘Of course, it's not clear if sports fans fear terrorism - or just an explosion of their credit-card balances.’
      • ‘Even so, the trade balance remained in surplus for several consecutive months.’
      • ‘I juggled five credit cards in college and always paid the entire balance on time each month.’
      remainder, outstanding amount, rest, residue, difference, remaining number, remaining part, remaining quantity
      View synonyms
    2. 6.2in singular An amount left over.
      • ‘Sitting at the end of the longest of three piers, our feet dangling off the edge, we spent the balance of the hour watching it arrive.’
      • ‘Half of this sum will come from contracts with the ARU and the Force, and the balance is sponsorship from businesses.’
      • ‘To get days off, he continually dips his hands into his quickly dwindling leave balance.’
      • ‘Mr Dempsey said that the balance would be pumped into improved waste water treatment plants in the area.’
      • ‘Any squad member violating this rule will be dismissed from his or her respective squad for the balance of that particular season.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.

    ‘a mug that she balanced on her knee’
    • ‘The average head weighs about a stone, so unless it is perfectly balanced on the top of your spinal column, the pressure it places on your neck and shoulder muscles inevitably results in the compression of the spine.’
    • ‘It is balanced on the very edges of a cinema cafe table, almost blocking the way into the carpet/furnishings/fittings room.’
    • ‘What happens to the eggs when you hit the tray they are balanced on with a fast-moving broom?’
    • ‘He said that the ballot was balanced on a knife-edge and that it looked to be tipping against the Prime Minister and his top-up fee plans.’
    • ‘An enormous chunk of coal was balanced on the edge of the moving tender and released downhill as it passed.’
    • ‘It is hard not to gasp at the speed of the ascent and my admiration is more marked, and more edgy, because I know that the whole structure is balanced on a bearing the size of a small, round coffee table, like a pencil poised on the tip of its lead.’
    • ‘Each cylindrical mirror is balanced on the slimmest of supports: one steel wire, as thin as dental floss, that is attached to the gallowslike frame.’
    • ‘A row of more than 15 bricks, pieces of concrete, metal poles, wooden stakes and a traffic cone were balanced on the track in a blatant act of sabotage.’
    • ‘Maura asked watching her balance a tray of food carefully on the palm of her right hand.’
    • ‘This center was balanced on either side by images of the deaths of a peacock and a bull.’
    • ‘The building's long, curved roofline is balanced on one side by a tall, twisting tower, with an observation deck floating above the city like a treehouse.’
    • ‘Queen Maura's bracelet was balanced on the edge of the rod.’
    • ‘It was balanced on top of a piece of wood, supported by 2 beer crates stacked one on the other and in between each song, he would have to reposition it because it was vibrating so much from the sound that it kept creeping towards the edge.’
    • ‘Rather than being set in stone, the iron trough containing the canal is balanced on top of hundred-foot long, spindly legs.’
    • ‘The bridge is balanced on seven pillars, the tallest one 16 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower, and is hailed as a new wonder of French engineering.’
    • ‘The Lartique system comprises only a single rail - the carriages are balanced on either side so the operator has to be careful that it wasn't top heavy on one side.’
    • ‘It took all my concentration just to remain balanced on the higher air pocket, as if I were balancing a surfboard on a beach ball.’
    • ‘Because in an upright biped, like humans and Australopithecines, the head is balanced on top of the spine, whereas in the quadruped like a chimpanzee the head is slung from the front of the spine.’
    • ‘The camera was balanced on a bollard and had slipped slightly so you can't see our faces.’
    • ‘In the quest for the best pictures pretty much every piece of furniture had been moved in the lounge and the lights were balanced on boxes and crates to get then pointing where I wanted them.’
    steady, stabilize
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object Remain in a steady position without falling.
      ‘Richard balanced on the ball of one foot’
      • ‘You can be moody and swing to extremes, be aware and remain balanced.’
      • ‘Now, just as he balanced on the cusp of success, he's been derailed by members of his own Liberal Democratic Party, the LDP.’
      • ‘Mystery White Boy, on the other hand, captures the essence of Buckley's wild spirit - the singer balanced on the fine line between genius and madman.’
      • ‘Street entertainers, dressed as snowmen and aliens and balanced on stilts, were pushed and jostled by the youngsters, who sprayed them with foam.’
      • ‘Megan stop suddenly in mid-spin almost falling over, but she remained balanced.’
      • ‘So while she balanced on one foot on my back, she literally walked all over me with the other.’
      • ‘In they paraded, balanced on their stylish high heels, lugging encyclopedic day timers and surgically attached cell phones.’
      • ‘The giraffe gazed downwards at us with a stupidly benign expression on its face and slowly stalked away, balanced on its implausibly spindly legs.’
      • ‘The boy ducked lithely, and Gordon had some difficulty staying balanced on the balls on his feet.’
      • ‘The show was very Cirque Du Soleil including acrobats flying around on bits of string and doing implausible things while balanced on tiny bits of wood.’
      • ‘Hoss ran through the figure again, his bulk easily balanced on the balls of his feet, his movements light and sure.’
      • ‘Remain balanced and centered within, go around blocks and do what you want.’
      • ‘In a beautiful sequence, women balanced on tiny blocks, flexing their bare backs and arms, revealing the elegance of contour, spine and muscle.’
      • ‘Many by De Mello are of fishermen throwing their nets, or balanced on a cliff with their rods lined up, or fishing boats moored in a foggy bay ringed by Hawaiian mountains.’
      • ‘She raised her right hand to her forehead, leaving the left to help her remain balanced on her feet.’
      • ‘In the stability-ball rotation, you'll rotate your torso through a controlled range of motion while balanced on a ball.’
      • ‘Just as the audience begins to appreciate the beautiful rigour of this little coup, she does alight - and not only that, balances on pointe.’
      • ‘Now sit balanced on a Swiss ball with your legs extended and toes pointed.’
      • ‘She had demonstrated the move impeccably, hopping atop the ball, thighs and glutes flexing as she balanced on its moonwalk surface, not needing to put so much as a toe to the ground.’
      • ‘Its best to keep making adjustments to remain centered and balanced on all levels of consciousness, that is, the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.’
  • 2Offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another.

    ‘the cost of obtaining such information needs to be balanced against its benefits’
    • ‘Projection of musical character also hinges, to a degree, on how lines are balanced against one another.’
    • ‘The public interest in preserving the confidentiality is balanced against other public interests favouring disclosure.’
    • ‘Instead, every calculation of profit is carefully balanced against the potential risks in an enterprise.’
    • ‘According to Toner, the decision to outsource is a typical business decision in which risk is balanced against cost.’
    • ‘‘The fears of a US retaliation affecting Middle East oil producers is balanced against worries about recession,’ he said.’
    • ‘If the answers are balanced against the information they always go for the no-risk answer.’
    • ‘As ever, that comes down to balancing quality and value.’
    • ‘How should the needs of those with HIV infection be balanced against those with other life-threatening diseases?’
    • ‘Government propaganda was not balanced against the historic record.’
    • ‘They were balanced against gym membership, availability of open spaces and the consumption of fruit and vegetables.’
    • ‘Winston acknowledged that this benefit is balanced against as yet unmeasured risks to the environment and to public health.’
    • ‘Abuse and mental strain flow through the story, but Eugene's crazed influence is balanced against the sincere love his family feel for him.’
    • ‘It was a case that cuts to the heart of rural life, in which a woman's shock and horror at seeing her beloved pet shot dead in front of her and virtually on her own doorstep was balanced against a farmer's right to protect his livestock.’
    • ‘This derogation from representation is balanced against the need for independence from the passing passions that can excite legislators.’
    • ‘It should be noted that broad meritocracy might be upheld either as a complete view of social justice or as one justice value to be balanced against others.’
    • ‘Thundering bursts of live percussion were balanced against contrasting bouts of movement from a cast of eleven men and women.’
    • ‘Wet spices like shallots, ginger and garlic are balanced against dry ones like coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cloves.’
    • ‘But it is cost effective when it is balanced against the costs to the ADF and wider society.’
    • ‘High PO2 levels help produce an efficient decompression profile providing they are balanced against oxygen toxicity.’
    • ‘The number of manufacturers is balanced against the number of installers and researchers.’
    weigh, weigh up, compare, evaluate, consider, assess, appraise, estimate
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Counteract, equal, or neutralize the weight or importance of.
      ‘he balanced his radical remarks with more familiar declarations’
      • ‘This will give clearer guidance to commissioners on the national importance of renewable energy, which will be balanced by the many other considerations relevant to their decision.’
      • ‘It's important to keep in mind that security needs to be balanced alongside other important considerations, such as speed and ease of use.’
      • ‘According to Minasyan, the slump of the dollar value would have both a positive and a negative effect for the Bulgarian economy, and the two balanced each other.’
      • ‘Speed of delivery is important but must be balanced with accuracy.’
      • ‘Good karma, as any scholar of Buddhism will tell you, has to be balanced by an equal amount of bad karma.’
      • ‘We then discuss the challenge of balancing the right to education with the importance of maintaining safe and orderly schools.’
      • ‘This wouldn't happen if there had been a countervailing power to balance America.’
      • ‘The amount of nitrogen in the atmosphere has the ideal ratio to balance the harmful and burning effects of oxygen.’
      • ‘Notice that there is an arms race here, with ploy and counter-ploy balancing each other out.’
      • ‘This, however, was balanced by another new article stressing the importance of the ‘Defence of the Socialist Fatherland’.’
      • ‘The effect of sulfur must be balanced by the effect of manganese.’
      • ‘A fundamental tenet of trade theory is that trade amongst nations should be balanced evenly between imports and exports.’
      • ‘He balanced my more radical views of industrial relations with his more pragmatic outlook.’
      • ‘At the end of each newspaper edition, political opinions expressed will be carefully logged and the proprietor charged a fee for each that is not balanced by an equal and opposite point of view.’
      • ‘You are challenged to understand the importance of balancing the five balls.’
      • ‘If the risk increases it is likely to only be at the beginning of treatment, when the disinhibiting effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are not yet balanced by improving mood patterns.’
      • ‘Any proposed increase had to be balanced with the limiting effect of the ability of the poor to pay for the goods, and the likelihood of rioting if the impost was seen as too onerous.’
      • ‘Hadi emphasized the importance of balancing the outdoor and indoor lights to create a comfortable lighting for the eyes.’
      • ‘Fisheries Minister Kim Chance said the case centred on a complex and challenging issue that required important considerations to be balanced in the public interest.’
      • ‘A greater range of motion is also important for overcoming or balancing the usually more developed pectoral muscles.’
      counterbalance, balance out, cancel, cancel out, offset, even out, even up, counteract, counterpoise, countervail, equalize, neutralize, nullify, compensate for, make up for
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Establish equal or appropriate proportions of elements in.
      ‘they are struggling to balance work and family life’
      • ‘No sport is ever going to be proportionally balanced, racially or ethnically.’
      • ‘A working woman needs to organise her life to balance her professional and family life.’
      • ‘It also purifies the spirit, and balances the five elements of the body…’
      • ‘Delivered by Houllier, it is a sign he can balance the cerebral and physical elements of his job.’
      • ‘Food needs to be balanced with the appropriate vitamins and minerals which are not present in our food.’
      • ‘Mr J is discharged with a plan for meals and snacks that are appropriately balanced.’
      • ‘‘Sushi is so simple that each element must be perfect, and all the elements must be balanced,’ he said.’
      • ‘How are the global and the local elements of hip-hop culture balanced in their songs?’
      • ‘Mixing involves adjusting the individual volume levels so they appear to the viewer as balanced and in proportion.’
      • ‘Further, women are often the primary care-givers at home, and face the additional challenge of balancing their home and family lives.’
      • ‘The whole structure is a perfectly balanced and proportioned three-dimensional mandala, well conceived and executed.’
      • ‘Feng shui is the art of aligning complementary opposites to coexist, balancing the five elements of water, wood, fire, earth and metal.’
      • ‘All the audio elements feel appropriately balanced, and both conversations and musical interludes are easily heard.’
      • ‘It balances all of these elements perfectly, and leaves you wanting more.’
      • ‘The twist here is that these 5 elements are all balanced, as can been seen in your character screen.’
      • ‘The process of ensuring a weapon system is fully supportable includes appropriately addressing, integrating, and balancing each of these elements.’
      • ‘The underlying cause of this disadvantage is the lack of support for women struggling to balance their working and family lives.’
      • ‘His work is far from conventional and he develops a language in which he balances a delicate harmonious relationship between his elements.’
      • ‘But is there one device that perfectly balances features, performance and price?’
      • ‘These concern balancing appropriate independence for individual family members with support available from the family when required.’
      level, even, drawn, equal, all square, tied, balanced, on a level, in a position of equality
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  • 3Compare debits and credits in (an account), typically to ensure that they are equal.

    ‘the law requires the council to balance its books each year’
    • ‘As fun as surfing the net or playing games can be, there are times when your PC gets used to help with more menial tasks, like applying for jobs, balancing your home accounts or keeping track of your insured valuables.’
    • ‘What rate of GDP expansion would today be necessary to balance the California budget?’
    • ‘I'll give up my Palm Pilot once pen and paper can do all the math for balancing my checking account on its own.’
    • ‘The pact required European Union members to balance their budgets over a four-year period - meaning a deficit in one year has to be balanced by a surplus in another.’
    • ‘So, for the benefit of those who can't balance their checking account with their socks and shoes on.’
    • ‘Sure, you too may have received credit from your supplier, but balancing the debits and credits is surprisingly difficult to manage.’
    • ‘I find it easier to balance my accounts against my bank statement with it than with the accounting program my accountant expects me to use.’
    • ‘When the fortnight was up, he cashed the child allowance books to balance his accounts, and the credit system would begin all over again.’
    • ‘Today, the US needs to borrow over $1 billion a day to balance its books.’
    • ‘Where could he get enough money to balance his checking account?’
    • ‘They can hope the economy - but at some point to balance the budget they're going to have to cut spending.’
    • ‘But the costs of benchmarking will make it almost impossible to balance the national accounts if the economy fails to return to the boom times.’
    • ‘The air inside does get rather stale after sitting in there for hours balancing accounts.’
    • ‘The federal budget has been conclusively balanced, again on the back of taxes on prosperity and full employment which have turned the years of deficit into years of surplus.’
    • ‘When the Spanish speakers pick up the pace and the volume, it's an auditory cue to stop reading your newspaper, balancing your checking account or writing your article.’
    • ‘To balance the account, the shopkeeper paid him the excess in cash.’
    • ‘However, any significant move by the US economy toward balancing its international accounts will lead to global turbulence.’
    compare, contrast, set side by side, juxtapose, weigh against, set against, differentiate, discriminate
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1no object (of an account) have credits and debits equal.
      • ‘The difference is that she handles the money, keeps the chequing account balanced and the bills paid.’
      • ‘Department of Finance officials are confident that the books will balance in 2002.’
      • ‘The account is balanced, and handles many issues involving Navy women well beyond the rather unreal and circumscribed little world of Annapolis.’
      • ‘In order for the balance sheet to balance, total assets on one side have to equal total liabilities plus owners' equity on the other.’
      • ‘The account is crisp, balanced, and reasonably thorough, especially on bureaucracy and management at high levels across the Atlantic.’
      • ‘Fiscal accounts are balanced and inflation remains low.’
      • ‘Some way must be found to ensure that their investments will be balanced and diversified.’
      • ‘Whatever the reason, a deficit will ensue if not enough money is entering the current account to balance out what is exiting.’
      • ‘First, the bank's accounts must have balanced, so that no discrepancy was apparent when they were audited.’
      • ‘No, no, I'm just trying to figure out why this account won't balance.’
      • ‘Loans to scheme members or to the employer are disallowed and, finally, a scheme's assets and liabilities must balance at all times.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, visual debits were more than balanced out by vocal credits.’
      • ‘For instance, a budget that was permanently balanced would freeze the level of federal debt.’
      • ‘He also points out that it is not enough for a budget to be fiscally balanced.’
      • ‘So this week has consisted of opening my hitherto shut-tight eyes and actually trying to make my poor sad accounts balance.’
      • ‘Their current account is nearly balanced, so a revaluation will have significant implications for imports and exports.’
      • ‘If interest rates were at their equilibrium level, domestic investment would equal savings; and the current account would be balanced.’
      correspond, agree, tally, match up, concur, coincide, be in agreement, be consistent, equate, be equal, harmonize, be in harmony, be compatible, be consonant, be congruous, be in tune, dovetail, correlate
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • balance of payments

    • The difference in total value between payments into and out of a country over a period.

      • ‘One is the position of the Commonwealth budget and the other is the balance of payments current account deficit.’
      • ‘The balance of payments only records the value of given goods bought and sold by an individual or a group of individuals.’
      • ‘The idea of calculating the so-called national balance of payments in a free market economy will be absurd.’
      • ‘The result was a deficit in the so-called balance of payments, which was paid for by foreigners cashing in those dollars for gold.’
      • ‘The Fund was there to provide bridge financing whilst the country concerned got its balance of payments in order.’
      • ‘It's also worried about balance of payments deficits, particularly in the United States.’
      • ‘One thing that's very important now for Brazil is to improve its balance of payments.’
      • ‘Trading arrangements had been disrupted with serious consequences to the balance of payments.’
      • ‘Further, growth in total exports will outweigh growth in total imports leading to an improvement in the balance of payments.’
      • ‘This in turn will give rise to a better balance of payments and in turn to stronger economic growth.’
  • balance of power

    • 1A situation in which nations of the world have roughly equal power.

      • ‘Peace in Europe during the Cold War rested on two pillars that made up the balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union.’
      • ‘China, though only two years in the WTO, has shifted the balance of power, possibly permanently.’
      • ‘As already noted, Soviet power was certainly an important element in the Cold War balance of power in East Asia.’
      • ‘First, this process would by no means assign Turkey as the new main actor of the regional balance of power.’
      • ‘It's hard to see how a stable balance of power could be established under these conditions.’
      • ‘For the first time in history, be it unrecorded, ancient or modern, the world as a whole has no balance of power.’
      • ‘Such a buildup could badly upset the balance of power in the region and threaten the peace, Reich asserts.’
      • ‘They believe a profound and long term shift of the balance of power away from nation states is underway.’
      • ‘This legislation changes the balance of power in corporate New Zealand.’
      • ‘For instance, policies of the balance of power might lead to assistance being given to regimes with bad human rights records.’
    • 2The power held by a small group when larger groups are of equal strength.

      • ‘When you look at what has happened in the last eight years to the criminal law, there's a massive shift in the balance of power from defence to prosecution.’
      • ‘Chelsea's win leaves them the only remaining bastion of power in the south as the balance of power again swings north.’
      • ‘Not to be able to do so would mean that the balance of power in the workplace was shifted completely in favour of the employer and away from ordinary working people.’
      • ‘The identity card scheme will cost £3bn and change the balance of power between the individual and the state.’
      • ‘The great strength of this nation must be used to promote a balance of power that favors freedom.’
      • ‘The power structure, in particular the balance of power between the centre and the periphery was in constant need of repair.’
      • ‘It is necessary to re-examine the balance of power in the running of the different institutions that make up the global architecture.’
      • ‘He believed whatever choice, its impact would not be felt for long as the winners would rule with a minority balance of power.’
      • ‘They could do whatever they want if they held the balance of power.’
      • ‘The balance of power, once held by the consumer-goods companies, has increasingly shifted to the retailers.’
  • balance of trade

    • The difference in value between a country's imports and exports.

      • ‘This, together with the high import content of the tourism sector, leads to a worsening of the balance of trade.’
      • ‘Likewise, the balance of trade cannot determine the given stock of goods.’
      • ‘Labor theories of value shifted concern from the balance of trade to the costs of labor and the cost of tax on the wage.’
      • ‘The increase in investment strengthens the exchange rate facilitating a deterioration in the balance of trade.’
      • ‘As a result, the nation's balance of trade in chemicals, a rock-steady surplus for 80 years, has become a deficit.’
      • ‘It is also in recognition of the importance of Namibia's fisheries sector in terms of GDP contribution, balance of trade and employment opportunities.’
      • ‘In theory, a declining dollar should help the U.S. balance of trade by making imports relatively more expensive to Americans and exports relatively inexpensive to foreigners.’
      • ‘Some industry commentators fear the balance of trade will shift to airports such as Shanghai, reducing the importance of airports in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.’
      • ‘An important puzzle is the balance of trade in capital goods and industrial supplies and materials, excluding oil.’
      • ‘We come finally to the matter of money and the balance of trade.’
  • in the balance

    • Uncertain; at a critical stage.

      ‘his survival hung in the balance for days’
      • ‘The future of cross bay walks in Morecambe Bay hangs in the balance.’
      • ‘He warned that the future of the unit now hung in the balance unless it got the go-ahead from the department.’
      • ‘In five minutes, the game had gone from hanging in the balance to having an air of predictability about it.’
      • ‘The future of the Bell Field in Luckington still hangs in the balance after a meeting of district councillors last week.’
      • ‘The warm weather of the last week has given way to colder conditions in the last two days putting the weekend prospects in the balance.’
      • ‘Eight innocent lives were in the balance and the cheques were lying in the tray of some pen-pusher.’
      • ‘Their fate, however, hangs in the balance, dependent on environmental and commercial factors.’
      • ‘Until she can be confident that the school will be financially secure in the long-term, her future is in the balance.’
      • ‘There is nothing in the article about that and again it is a legitimate criticism also to be put in the balance.’
      • ‘At half-time the game was in the balance but it was then that a number of Coolera players moved up to a higher gear.’
      uncertain, unknown, undetermined, unsettled, unresolved, unsure, pending, in limbo, in no man's land, up in the air, at a turning point, critical, at a critical stage, at a crisis
      View synonyms
  • on balance

    • With all things considered.

      ‘but on balance he was pleased’
      • ‘Overall, on balance, did we get it as right as we knew how to do at the time?’
      • ‘The Court considers on balance that the present case is to be regarded as one involving deprivation of liberty.’
      • ‘But, on balance, the fact that people of money and influence value the countryside and want to live here, is no bad thing.’
      • ‘Obviously, the computer industry has grown a lot, and on balance it has grown much faster than Apple's share has.’
      • ‘I consider that, on balance, the plaintiff should bear the brunt of the costs of this litigation.’
      • ‘By any objective measurements, we are on balance healthier than we ever were.’
      • ‘On the basis of this decomposition we found that, on balance, neither of these has been the dominant factor.’
      • ‘What we must try to do is to judge the overall effect on balance.’
      • ‘We hope still to be able to convince our colleagues that on balance the agreement is not a good one.’
      • ‘I consider that on balance, on the material before me, this explanation is plausible.’
      overall, all in all, all things considered, taking everything into account, taking everything into consideration, by and large, on average, for the most part, mostly, mainly, in the main, on the whole, in general, generally, generally speaking, largely, to a large extent, to a great degree
      View synonyms
  • strike a balance

    • Choose a moderate course or compromise.

      ‘she's decided to strike a balance between fashionable and accessible’
      • ‘Continual use of your jets will deplete your energy and make you drop like a stone, so a balance must be struck between controlled bursts and longer sprays.’
      • ‘She has been choosing her theatre work very carefully, striking a balance between family and work time.’
      • ‘A reasonable balance will have to be struck so that Costa staff are not overwhelmed and thereby unable to perform their necessary day to day work.’
      • ‘You normally strike a genuine balance on matters of civil liberties.’
      • ‘A fair balance must be struck between the protection of the individual's fundamental rights and the demands of the general interests of the community.’
      • ‘They worry about just about everything - but a balance must be struck.’
      • ‘What he, in fact every one of us needs, is to strike a balance and stay on an even course.’
      • ‘They only disagreed about the separate question of how to strike the balance given the particular facts before them.’
      • ‘Citizens will have to decide where the balance must be struck.’
      • ‘There are trade-offs between equality and economic growth, and each society must strike its own balance.’

Origin

Middle English (in balance (sense 3 of the noun)): from Old French balance (noun), balancer (verb), based on late Latin (libra) bilanx ‘(balance) having two scale pans’, from bi- ‘twice, having two’ + lanx ‘scale pan’.

Pronunciation

balance

/ˈbaləns//ˈbæləns/