English

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

 

poise

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//pɔɪz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//pɔɪz//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they poise
BrE BrE//pɔɪz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//pɔɪz//
 
he / she / it poises
BrE BrE//ˈpɔɪzɪz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɔɪzɪz//
 
past simple poised
BrE BrE//pɔɪzd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//pɔɪzd//
 
past participle poised
BrE BrE//pɔɪzd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//pɔɪzd//
 
-ing form poising
BrE BrE//ˈpɔɪzɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɔɪzɪŋ//
 
 
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[intransitive, transitive] to be or hold something steady in a particular position, especially above something else + adv./prep. The hawk poised in mid-air ready to swoop. poise something/yourself to do something He was poising himself to launch a final attack. poise something/yourself + adv./prep. She poised the javelin in her hand before the throw. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘weight’): from Old French pois, peis (noun), peser (verb), from an alteration of Latin pensum ‘weight’, from the verb pendere ‘weigh’. From the early senses of ‘weight’ and ‘measure of weight’ arose the sense of ‘equal weight, balance’, leading to the extended senses ‘composure’ and ‘elegant bearing’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: poise

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