Definition of balance noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈbæləns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbæləns//
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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. His wife's death disturbed the balance of his mind. balance between A and B Try to keep a balance between work and relaxation.
  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 cycled round the corner, lost her balance and fell off.
  4. money
  5. 3  [countable, usually singular] the amount that is left after taking numbers or money away from a total to check your bank balance (= to find out how much money there is in your account) See related entries: Banking
  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. See related entries: Banking
  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. Word OriginMiddle English (in sense 5 of the noun): from Old French balance (noun), balancer (verb), based on late Latin (libra) bilanx ‘(balance) having two scale pans’, from bi- ‘twice, having two’ + lanx ‘scale pan’. Wordfinderaccount, balance, bank, credit, debit, deposit, interest, loan, statement, withdrawalExtra examples Cats have a very good sense of balance. Democracy depends on a system of checks and balances. Everyone likes to have a healthy bank balance. Gymnasts have excellent balance. He argues that the balance has swung too far in favour/​favor of capitalism. He asked the cashier for the balance of his current account. He set his feet wider and adjusted his balance. How do you find an acceptable balance between closeness and distance in a relationship? I’ll need to check my bank balance before I spend so much money. I’ll pay the balance later. In an interview, good presentation can tip the balance your way. Interest is calculated on the daily cleared balance and paid direct to your account. It is important to keep the different aspects of your life in balance. Pulling up all the plants will disturb the natural balance of the pond. She lost her balance and fell. The balance of advantage has shifted from the unions to employers. The balance of the proceeds will be used for new equipment. The final balance is due six weeks before departure. The gymnasts finish with floor exercises and the balance beam. The sudden movement threw him off balance. There is an even gender balance among staff and students. There was a dramatic shift in the balance of power. They assessed the balance of forces between Israel and other countries. Tightness in one set of muscles will affect your whole balance. We need to strike a balance between these conflicting interests. Who holds the balance of power in this relationship? With children, it is important to achieve the right balance between love and discipline. Yoga improves balance as well as flexibility. You have to maintain a balance in your life or else you’ll go crazy. a healthy balance of foods the balance between academic and practical work the balance brought forward from the previous year the balance of animals and plants in the environment the changing balance of power between the working and middle class the company’s balance sheet to hold the balance of power ways to improve your work-life balance He lost his balance and fell over. I need to check my bank balance.Idioms
    (on) the balance of evidence/probability
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    (formal) (considering) the evidence on both sides of an argument, to find the most likely reason for or result of something The balance of evidence suggests the Liberal party's decline began before the First World War.
    (be/hang) in the balance
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    if the future of something/somebody, or the result of something is/hangs in the balance, it is uncertain The long-term future of the space programme 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 somebody/something unsteady and in danger of falling I was thrown off balance by the sudden gust of wind.
    2. 2to make somebody surprised and no longer calm The senator was clearly caught off balance by the unexpected question. See related entries: Surprise
    after considering all the information On balance, the company has had a successful year. 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 which is between two things
    = tip the balance/scales
    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 favour. New evidence tipped the balance against the prosecution.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: balance