• "He poised his spear as he raised himself out of the water"
    "He poised his spear as he raised himself out of the water"
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v poise hold or carry in equilibrium
    • v poise cause to be balanced or suspended
    • v poise prepare (oneself) for something unpleasant or difficult
    • v poise be motionless, in suspension "The bird poised for a few moments before it attacked"
    • n poise great coolness and composure under strain "keep your cool"
    • n poise a cgs unit of dynamic viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter; the viscosity of a fluid in which a force of one dyne per square centimeter maintains a velocity of 1 centimeter per second
    • n poise a state of being balanced in a stable equilibrium
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Poising the Spear Poising the Spear

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Poise a dignified and self-confident manner; graceful composure and tact in handling difficult social situations.
    • Poise That which causes a balance; a counterweight. "Men of unbounded imagination often want the poise of judgment."
    • Poise The state of being balanced by equal weight or power; equipoise; balance; equilibrium; rest.
    • Poise The weight, or mass of metal, used in weighing, to balance the substance weighed.
    • Poise To ascertain, as by the balance; to weigh. "He can not sincerely consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence."
    • Poise To balance; to make of equal weight; as, to poise the scales of a balance.
    • Poise To counterpoise; to counterbalance. "One scale of reason to poise another of sensuality.""To poise with solid sense a sprightly wit."
    • v. i Poise To hang in equilibrium; to be balanced or suspended; hence, to be in suspense or doubt. "The slender, graceful spars Poise aloft in air."
    • Poise To hold or place in equilibrium or equiponderance. "Nor yet was earth suspended in the sky;
      Nor poised , did on her own foundation lie."
    • Poise To weigh (down); to oppress. "Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow."
    • Poise Weight; gravity; that which causes a body to descend; heaviness. "Weights of an extraordinary poise ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • poise To weigh; ascertain by weighing or balancing; figuratively, to weigh; ponder; consider.
    • poise To counterbalance; be of equal weight with.
    • poise To balance; make of equal weight; hold or place in equilibrium: as, to poise the scales of a balance.
    • poise To hold suspended or in suspense; delay.
    • poise To weigh or press down; force.
    • poise To be balanced or suspended; hence, figuratively, to hang in suspense.
    • n poise Weight; ponderosity; gravity.
    • n poise A weight; especially, the weight or mass of metal used in weighing with steelyards to balance the substance weighed.
    • n poise A thing suspended or attached as a counterweight; hence, that which counterbalances; a counterpoise.
    • n poise A state of balance; equipoise; equilibrium; hence, equanimity.
    • n poise The condition of balancing or hovering; suspended motion.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Poise poiz to balance: to make of equal weight: to examine
    • v.i Poise to hang in suspense
    • n Poise weight: state of balance: equilibrium: a weight which balances another: a regulating power: the weight used in steelyards
    • ***


  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
    “When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike you, do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.”
  • Virginia Woolf
    “Now, aged 50, I'm just poised to shoot forth quite free straight and undeflected my bolts whatever they are.”
  • Alexander Chase
    Alexander Chase
    “Lovers of air travel find it exhilarating to hang poised between the illusion of immortality and the fact of death.”
  • Maxwell Maltz
    “Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Let us be poised, and wise, and our own, today.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. poisen, peisen, OF. & F. peser, to weigh, balance, OF. il peise, il poise, he weighs, F. il pèse, fr. L. pensare, v. intens. fr. pendere, to weigh. See Poise (n.), and cf. Pensive


In literature:

The tension had been relieved, and she wanted to give him time to recover his poise.
"Jill the Reckless" by P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
He walked over to the skulls, and picking up one poised it on his hand, slowly turning it around, as though trying to discover what it meant.
"The Wonder Island Boys: The Mysteries of the Caverns" by Roger Thompson Finlay
It stopped out in space; it's poised out there now between Mars and Jupiter.
"Wandl the Invader" by Raymond King Cummings
It showed a man standing tensely poised, with a big, glinting ax in his hand.
"The Gold Trail" by Harold Bindloss
The rhythmical fulness and poise of his periods are remarkable.
"Pushing to the Front" by Orison Swett Marden
The poise and balance are so minutely exact that it just stands, and no more.
"Milton" by Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh
As Frank reached the platform and poised Yates aloft, the latter seemed to realize his peril, and fear robbed him of nerve and strength.
"Frank Merriwell's Races" by Burt L. Standish
She was standing looking out to sea, and the little wind from Africa blew against her, and made her seem poised for flight, like a bird.
"The Wind Bloweth" by Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne
The study of expression, to choose only one example, reveals to us, the necessity of a right poise of the body.
"How to Add Ten Years to your Life and to Double Its Satisfactions" by S. S. Curry
On pinnacles of terror our hearts poised nakedly.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service

In poetry:

Singing I was at peace,
Above the clouds, outside the ring:
For sorrow finds a swift release in song
And pride in poise.
"The Conflict" by Cecil Day Lewis
The world's foundations by his hand
Are poised, and shall for ever stand;
He binds the ocean in his chain,
Lest it should drown the earth again.
"Psalm 104" by Isaac Watts
Passion-poised dreamer, what life is now left thee?
Shall absence help thee to forget her? Ah I no
Far from those lovely smiles, that lovely presence,
Life becomes hateful;
"Sapphics" by Manmohan Ghose
The tranquil lake doth mem'ry bring,
Where swallows poised on lightest wing;
The breeze by which the supple reed
Was bent,--
The setting sun whose glory filled
The firmament?
"The Emigrant Mountaineer" by Sarah Anne Curzon
What need to tell of the message spoken?
Of the hand that shook as he poised his lance?
And the look that told of his brave heart broken,
As he bade them follow, “For God and France!”
"Sir Hugo's Choice" by James Jeffrey Roche
Is it then so? And must the soul,
That unseen wing towards unseen goal,
Disdain the crowded vale's delights,
Its heat unfruitful, vapid noise,
And soaring, solitary, poise
Among celestial heights?
"Celestial Heights" by Alfred Austin

In news:

The Supreme Court is poised to announce a decision this week - perhaps as early as today - that could affect the political landscape, the economy, and the lives of millions of Americans.
Lynch's power, Wilson's poise could cause Vikings' D fits.
If the Kings move from Sacramento, the Golden State Warriors could be poised to live up their name by annexing their territory.
The Angeles National Forest is poised to get the ax.
JOHNSBURG Though the Johnsburg Town Board wont make it official until January, it appears the board is poised to appoint Ron Vanselow to replace Board Member Sterling Goodspeed .
JOHNSBURG Though the Johnsburg Town Board wont make it official until January, it appears the board is poised to appoint Ron Vanselow to replace Board Member Sterling Goodspeed.
Search Poised for "Great Year".
5-Star Mid-Cap Stocks Poised to Pop: MSC Industrial.
After the first week of early voting, Dallas County Democrats seem poised for a fourth straight sweep of Republicans.
Just as the nation is finally climbing out of the malaise of the Great Recession, the economy stands poised to fall into another economic abyss — one that is completely of Washington's making.
Who will buy the L.A. Appears poised to exit bankruptcy which could open the door to a sale.
China Stocks Poised To Hit Bottom In The Second Half, Hong Hao Says.
After a dismal 1995, Argentina is poised for an expansionary 1996.
With the Senate poised to come up with another two billion, are taxpayers funding a consumer frenzy that would have happened anyway.
With a universal TD-LTE testing platform, the wireless industry stands poised to accelerate the development of a global fourth-generation (4G) standard.

In science:

The new LLR capabilities and the proposed LATOR mission are poised to directly address the challenges discussed above; we shall now discuss these experiments in more details.
35 Years of Testing Relativistic Gravity: Where do we go from here?
Experimentally, searches for new physics at the LHC, precision electroweak tests, and both EDM and dark matter searches are poised to provide critical new information about the shape of any new physics at the electroweak scale.
Nuclei as Laboratories: Nuclear Tests of Fundamental Symmetries
We are poised at the beginning of a new era in the quantitative experimental exploration of thermal QCD.
Phases of QCD: Summary of the Rutgers Long Range Plan Town Meeting
Graphene is poised to become a new paradigm in solid state physics and materials science, owing to its truly bidimensional character and a host of rich and unexpected phenomena1,2,3 .
Modeling disorder in graphene
Further long-baseline neutrino beam experiments are in the pipeline, and neutrino oscillation physics is poised to enter the precision era, with Superbeams and a Neutrino Factory on the horizon.
Neutrino Mass