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



    BrE BrE//ˈbæləns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbæləns//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they balance
    BrE BrE//ˈbæləns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbæləns//
    he / she / it balances
    BrE BrE//ˈbælənsɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbælənsɪz//
    past simple balanced
    BrE BrE//ˈbælənst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbælənst//
    past participle balanced
    BrE BrE//ˈbælənst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbælənst//
    -ing form balancing
    BrE BrE//ˈbælənsɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbælənsɪŋ//
    jump to other results
    keep steady
  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to put your body or something else into a position where it is steady and does not fall balance (on something) How long can you balance on one leg? balance something (on something) The television was precariously balanced on top of a pile of books. She balanced the cup on her knee.
  2. be/keep equal
  3. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to be equal in value, amount, etc. to something else that has the opposite effect synonym offset balance out The good and bad effects of any decision will usually balance out. balance something (out) This year's profits will balance out our previous losses. His lack of experience was balanced by a willingness to learn.
  4. 3  [transitive] balance A with/and B to give equal importance to two contrasting things or parts of something She tries to balance home life and career.
  5. compare
  6. 4[transitive] balance A against B to compare the relative importance of two contrasting things The cost of obtaining legal advice needs to be balanced against its benefits.
  7. money
  8. 5[transitive] balance something (finance) to show that in an account the total money spent is equal to the total money received; to calculate the difference between the two totals
  9. 6[intransitive] (of an account) to have an equal amount of money spent and money received I tried to work out why the books wouldn't balance.
  10. 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’.Extra examples He balanced the glasses carefully on the tray. She tries to balance the needs of her children with those of her employer. The plan seeks to balance two important objectives. The song perfectly balances melody and rhythm. We have to balance the risks of the new strategy against the possible benefits. This year’s profits will balance out previous losses.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: balance