Definitions for: Balance

[n] a scale for weighing; depends on pull of gravity
[n] an equivalent counterbalancing weight
[n] (mathematics) an attribute of a shape; exact correspondence of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane
[n] harmonious arrangement or relation of parts or elements within a whole (as in a design); "in all perfectly beautiful objects there is found the opposition of one part to another and a reciprocal balance"- John Ruskin
[n] the seventh sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about September 23 to October 22
[n] (astrology) a person who is born while the sun in in Libra
[n] an amount on the credit side of an account
[n] equality of distribution
[n] a state of equilibrium
[v] hold or carry in equilibrium
[v] compute credits and debits of an account
[v] bring into balance or equilibrium; "She has to balance work and her domestic duties"; "balance the two weights"
[v] be in equilibrium; "He was balancing on one foot"

Webster (1913) Definition: Bal"ance, n. [OE. balaunce, F. balance, fr. L. bilan?,
bilancis, having two scales; bis twice (akin to E. two) +
lanx plate, scale.]
1. An apparatus for weighing.

Note: In its simplest form, a balance consists of a beam or
lever supported exactly in the middle, having two
scales or basins of equal weight suspended from its
extremities. Another form is that of the Roman balance,
our steelyard, consisting of a lever or beam, suspended
near one of its extremities, on the longer arm of which
a counterpoise slides. The name is also given to other
forms of apparatus for weighing bodies, as to the
combinations of levers making up platform scales; and
even to devices for weighing by the elasticity of a

2. Act of weighing mentally; comparison; estimate.

A fair balance of the advantages on either side.

3. Equipoise between the weights in opposite scales.

4. The state of being in equipoise; equilibrium; even
adjustment; steadiness.

And hung a bottle on each side To make his balance
true. --Cowper.

The order and balance of the country were destroyed.

English workmen completely lose their balance. --J.
S. Mill.

5. An equality between the sums total of the two sides of an
account; as, to bring one's accounts to a balance; --
also, the excess on either side; as, the balance of an
account. `` A balance at the banker's. '' --Thackeray.

I still think the balance of probabilities leans
towards the account given in the text. --J. Peile.

6. (Horol.) A balance wheel, as of a watch, or clock. See
Balance wheel (in the Vocabulary).

7. (Astron.)
(a) The constellation Libra.
(b) The seventh sign in the Zodiac, called Libra, which
the sun enters at the equinox in September.

8. A movement in dancing. See Balance, v. i., S.

Balance electrometer, a kind of balance, with a poised
beam, which indicates, by weights suspended from one arm,
the mutual attraction of oppositely electrified surfaces.

Balance fish. (Zo["o]l) See Hammerhead.

Balance knife, a carving or table knife the handle of which
overbalances the blade, and so keeps it from contact with
the table.

Balance of power. (Politics), such an adjustment of power
among sovereign states that no one state is in a position
to interfere with the independence of the others;
international equilibrium; also, the ability ( of a state
or a third party within a state) to control the relations
between sovereign states or between dominant parties in a

Balance sheet (Bookkeeping), a paper showing the balances
of the open accounts of a business, the debit and credit
balances footing up equally, if the system of accounts be
complete and the balances correctly taken.

Balance thermometer, a thermometer mounted as a balance so
that the movement of the mercurial column changes the
indication of the tube. With the aid of electrical or
mechanical devices adapted to it, it is used for the
automatic regulation of the temperature of rooms warmed
artificially, and as a fire alarm.

Balance of torsion. See Torsion Balance.

Balance of trade (Pol. Econ.), an equilibrium between the
money values of the exports and imports of a country; or
more commonly, the amount required on one side or the
other to make such an equilibrium.

Balance valve, a valve whose surfaces are so arranged that
the fluid pressure tending to seat, and that tending to
unseat the valve, are nearly in equilibrium; esp., a
puppet valve which is made to operate easily by the
admission of steam to both sides. See Puppet valve.

Hydrostatic balance. See under Hydrostatic.

To lay in balance, to put up as a pledge or security.
[Obs.] --Chaucer.

To strike a balance, to find out the difference between the
debit and credit sides of an account.

Bal"ance, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Balanced (?); p. pr. &
vb. n. Balancing (?).] [From Balance, n.: cf. F.
balancer. ]
1. To bring to an equipoise, as the scales of a balance by
adjusting the weights; to weigh in a balance.

2. To support on a narrow base, so as to keep from falling;
as, to balance a plate on the end of a cane; to balance
one's self on a tight rope.

3. To equal in number, weight, force, or proportion; to
counterpoise, counterbalance, counteract, or neutralize.

One expression . . . must check and balance another.

4. To compare in relative force, importance, value, etc.; to

Balance the good and evil of things. --L'Estrange.

5. To settle and adjust, as an account; to make two accounts
equal by paying the difference between them.

I am very well satisfied that it is not in my power
to balance accounts with my Maker. --Addison.

6. To make the sums of the debits and credits of an account
equal; -- said of an item; as, this payment, or credit,
balances the account.

7. To arrange accounts in such a way that the sum total of
the debits is equal to the sum total of the credits; as,
to balance a set of books.

8. (Dancing) To move toward, and then back from,
reciprocally; as, to balance partners.

9. (Naut.) To contract, as a sail, into a narrower compass;
as, to balance the boom mainsail.

Balanced valve. See Balance valve, under Balance, n.

Syn: To poise; weigh; adjust; counteract; neutralize;

Bal"ance, v. i.
1. To have equal weight on each side; to be in equipoise; as,
the scales balance.

2. To fluctuate between motives which appear of equal force;
to waver; to hesitate.

He would not balance or err in the determination of
his choice. --Locke.

3. (Dancing) To move toward a person or couple, and then

Synonyms: correspondence, counterbalance, counterbalance, counterpoise, counterweight, equaliser, equalizer, equilibrate, equilibrise, equilibrium, equilibrize, equipoise, Libra, Libra, Libra the Balance, Libra the Scales, poise, proportion, symmetricalness, symmetry

Antonyms: asymmetry, imbalance, imbalance, instability, unbalance, unbalance

See Also: account, account, account statement, accounting, arrangement, balance of trade, be, beam balance, beam scale, bear, bilateral symmetry, bilateralism, bilaterality, calculate, cancel, carry, carry-forward, carry-over, compensate, complement, conformation, construction, counterbalance, countervail, credit, credit entry, electrolyte balance, electronic balance, equilibrium, even off, even out, even up, fit, geometrical regularity, hold, house, human, individual, invisible balance, lever scale, mansion, match, microbalance, mortal, nitrogen balance, offset, person, placement, planetary house, proportion, radial symmetry, regularity, sash weight, scale, set off, sign, sign of the zodiac, somebody, someone, soul, spatial property, spatiality, spring balance, spring scale, star sign, steelyard, structure, symmetry, tare, tension, trade balance, trade gap, trial balance, trim, visible balance, weighing machine, weight

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