American English

Definition of balance noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    equal amounts
  1. 1[uncountable, singular] a situation in which different things exist in equal, correct, or good amounts see also imbalance This newspaper maintains a good balance in its presentation of different opinions. Tourists often disturb the delicate balance of nature on the island. balance between A and B Try to keep a balance between work and relaxation. see also balance of power
  2. of body
  3. 2[uncountable] the ability to keep steady with an equal amount of weight on each side of the body Athletes need a good sense of balance. I struggled to keep my balance on my new skates. She rode around the corner,lost her balance, and fell off her bike.
  4. money
  5. 3[countable, usually singular] the amount that is left after taking numbers or money away from a total to check your account balance (= to find out how much money there is in your account)
  6. 4[countable, usually singular] an amount of money still owed after some payment has been made The balance of $500 must be paid within 90 days.
  7. instrument for weighing
  8. 5[countable] an instrument for weighing things, with a bar that is supported in the middle and has dishes hanging from each end
  9. Idioms
    (be/hang) in the balance
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    if the future of something or someone, or the result of something, is/hangs in the balance, it is uncertain The long-term future of the space program hangs in the balance. Tom's life hung in the balance for two weeks as he lay in a coma.
      (catch/throw somebody) off balance
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    1. 1to make someone or something unsteady and in danger of falling I was thrown off balance by the sudden gust of wind.
    2. 2to make someone surprised or confused The senator was clearly caught off balance by the unexpected question.
    after considering all the information On balance, the company has had a successful year.
    redress the balance
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    to make a situation equal or fair again
    strike a balance (between A and B)
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    to manage to find a way of being fair to two opposing things; to find an acceptable position that is between two things
    swing the balance
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    = tip
    tip the balance/scales (also swing the balance)
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    to affect the result of something in one way rather than another In an interview, smart presentation can tip the scales in your favor. New evidence tipped the balance against the prosecution.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: balance