balance

See also: Balance and balancé

EnglishEdit

 
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A balance (scale).
 
A rock balanced on one corner.

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

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.
  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

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

 
In equilibrium

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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Kent and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      One expression [] must check and balance another.
  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.
    • (Can we date this quote by L'Estrange and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Balance the good and evil of things.
  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
    • (Can we date this quote by Addison and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I am very well satisfied that it is not in my power to balance accounts with my Maker.
  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.

See alsoEdit

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

Related termsEdit

VerbEdit

balance

  1. first-person singular present indicative of balancer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of balancer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of balancer
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of balancer
  5. second-person singular imperative of balancer

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

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

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

balance m (plural balances)

  1. (accounting) balance
  2. balance; weighing up