poise

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From a combination of Anglo-Norman pois, Middle French pois (weight) and Anglo-Norman poise, Middle French poise (measure of weight).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

poise (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Weight; an amount of weight, the amount something weighs.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.xii:
      as an huge rockie clift, / Whose false foundation waues haue washt away, / With dreadfull poyse is from the mayneland rift, / [...] So downe he fell [...].
  2. The weight, or mass of metal, used in weighing, to balance the substance weighed.
  3. That which causes a balance; a counterweight.
    • Dryden
      Men of unbounded imagination often want the poise of judgment.
  4. A state of balance, equilibrium or stability
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bentley to this entry?)
  5. composure; freedom from embarrassment or affectation
  6. mien; bearing or deportment of the head or body
  7. A condition of hovering, or being suspended
  8. (physics) A cgs unit of dynamic viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter.
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Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

poise (third-person singular simple present poises, present participle poising, simple past and past participle poised)

  1. (obsolete) To hang in equilibrium; to be balanced or suspended; hence, to be in suspense or doubt.
    • Longfellow
      The slender, graceful spars / Poise aloft in air.
  2. (obsolete) To counterpoise; to counterbalance.
    • Shakespeare
      one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality
    • Dryden
      to poise with solid sense a sprightly wit
  3. (obsolete) To be of a given weight; to weigh. [14th-17th c.]
  4. (obsolete) To add weight to, to weigh down. [16th-18th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.2:
      Every man poiseth [transl. poise] upon his fellowes sinne, and elevates his owne.
  5. (now rare) To hold (something) with or against something else in equilibrium; to balance, counterpose. [from 16th c.]
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet, I.2:
      you saw her faire none els being by, / Her selfe poysd with her selfe in either eye.
  6. To hold (something) in equilibrium, to hold balanced and ready; to carry (something) ready to be used. [from 16th c.]
    I poised the crowbar in my hand, and waited.
    to poise the scales of a balance
    • Dryden
      Nor yet was earth suspended in the sky; / Nor poised, did on her own foundation lie.
  7. To keep (something) in equilibrium; to hold suspended or balanced. [from 17th c.]
    The rock was poised precariously on the edge of the cliff.
  8. To ascertain, as if by balancing; to weigh.
    • South
      He cannot sincerely consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence.

TranslationsEdit

Last modified on 5 January 2014, at 14:41