balance

See also: Balance and balancé

EnglishEdit

 
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A balance (scale)
 
A rock balanced on one corner

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

PIE word
*dwóh₁

From Middle English balaunce, from Middle French balance, from Late Latin *bilancia, from (accusative form of) Latin bilanx (two-scaled), from bi- + lanx (plate, scale).

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˈbæləns/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æləns

NounEdit

balance (countable and uncountable, plural balances)

  1. (uncountable) A state in which opposing forces harmonise; equilibrium.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 196:
      But civilized man is quite a different animal, and when he wipes out an entire city or levels a forest, he is no longer working within the natural balance of things.
  2. (uncountable) Mental equilibrium; mental health; calmness, a state of remaining clear-headed and unperturbed.
  3. (literally or figuratively) Something of equal weight used to provide equilibrium; counterweight.
    These weights are used as a balance for the overhanging verandah
    Blair thought he could provide a useful balance to Bush's policies.
  4. A pair of scales.
  5. (uncountable) Awareness of both viewpoints or matters; neutrality; rationality; objectivity.
  6. (uncountable) The overall result of conflicting forces, opinions etc.; the influence which ultimately "weighs" more than others.
    The balance of power finally lay with the Royalist forces.
    I think the balance of opinion is that we should get out while we're ahead.
    • 2012 April 19, Josh Halliday, “Free speech haven or lawless cesspool – can the internet be civilised?”, in the Guardian[1]:
      The shift in the balance of power online has allowed anyone to publish to the world, from dispirited teenagers in south London to an anonymous cyber-dissident in a Middle East autocracy.
  7. (uncountable) Apparent harmony in art (between differing colours, sounds, etc.).
  8. (accounting) A list accounting for the debits on one side, and for the credits on the other.
  9. (accounting) The result of such a procedure; the difference between credit and debit of an account.
    I just need to nip to a bank and check my balance.
  10. (watchmaking) A device used to regulate the speed of a watch, clock etc.
  11. (law, business) The remainder.
    The balance of the agreement remains in effect.
    The invoice said he had only paid $50. The balance was $220.
  12. (obsolete, astrology) Libra.

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Accounting and economics
Other noun phrases
Compound words
Prepositional phrases
Predicates

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

VerbEdit

 
A girl balancing on a plank of wood

balance (third-person singular simple present balances, present participle balancing, simple past and past participle balanced)

  1. (transitive) To bring (items) to an equipoise, as the scales of a balance by adjusting the weights.
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To make (concepts) agree.
    • 2014', Peter Melville Logan, Olakunle George, Susan Hegeman, The Encyclopedia of the Novel
      the Proteus Principle helps to qualify and balance the concepts of narrators and of narrative situations as previously developed in classical studies by G erard Genette and Franz Stanzel.
  3. (transitive) To hold (an object or objects) precariously; to support on a narrow base, so as to keep from falling.
    I balanced my mug of coffee on my knee.
    The circus performer balances a plate on the end of a baton.
  4. (transitive) To compare in relative force, importance, value, etc.; to estimate.
    • 1692, Roger L’Estrange, “ (please specify the fable number.) (please specify the name of the fable.)”, in Fables, of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists: [], London: [] R[ichard] Sare, [], OCLC 228727523:
      Ballance the Good and Evil of Things.
    • 1941 September, Charles E. Lee, “Sheltering in London Tube Stations”, in Railway Magazine, page 389:
      Mr. Morrison's ruling to reopen the station as a shelter was given after he had balanced the relative dangers of flooding and bombing.
  5. (transitive, dancing) To move toward, and then back from, reciprocally.
    to balance partners
  6. (nautical) To contract, as a sail, into a narrower compass.
    to balance the boom mainsail
  7. (transitive) To make the credits and debits of (an account) correspond.
    This final payment, or credit, balances the account.
    to balance a set of books
  8. (intransitive) To be in equilibrium.
  9. (intransitive) To have matching credits and debits.
  10. (transitive, obsolete) To weigh in a balance.
  11. (intransitive, obsolete) To hesitate or fluctuate.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

AnagramsEdit


FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Vulgar Latin *bilancia, from Latin bilanx, from bi- (see Latin bis) and lanx.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

balance f (plural balances)

  1. scales
  2. (chemistry, physics) balance
  3. (economics, electricity, politics) balance
  4. (fishing) drop-net
  5. (slang) informant, snitch
  6. (Louisiana) the rest, the remainder
  7. (Louisiana) a scale, more specifically a balancing scale

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

VerbEdit

balance

  1. inflection of balancer:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


LatinEdit

NounEdit

balance

  1. ablative singular of balanx

Middle EnglishEdit

NounEdit

balance

  1. Alternative form of balaunce

Middle FrenchEdit

NounEdit

balance f (plural balances)

  1. scales (weighing scales)

PortugueseEdit

VerbEdit

balance

  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of balançar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of balançar
  3. third-person singular imperative of balançar

SpanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from French balance, from Late Latin *bilancia.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): (Spain) /baˈlanθe/, [baˈlãn̟.θe]
  • IPA(key): (Latin America) /baˈlanse/, [baˈlãn.se]

NounEdit

balance m (plural balances)

  1. (accounting) balance
    Synonym: saldo
  2. balance; weighing up

Further readingEdit