• "Balancing the bag on his friend's head."
    "Balancing the bag on his friend's head."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v balance hold or carry in equilibrium
    • v balance compute credits and debits of an account
    • v balance bring into balance or equilibrium "She has to balance work and her domestic duties","balance the two weights"
    • v balance be in equilibrium "He was balancing on one foot"
    • n balance a scale for weighing; depends on pull of gravity
    • n balance a wheel that regulates the rate of movement in a machine; especially a wheel oscillating against the hairspring of a timepiece to regulate its beat
    • n balance a weight that balances another weight
    • n balance (mathematics) an attribute of a shape or relation; exact reflection of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane
    • n balance harmonious arrangement or relation of parts or elements within a whole (as in a design) "in all perfectly beautiful objects there is found the opposition of one part to another and a reciprocal balance"- John Ruskin"
    • n Balance the seventh sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about September 23 to October 22
    • n Balance (astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Libra
    • n balance equality between the totals of the credit and debit sides of an account
    • n balance the difference between the totals of the credit and debit sides of an account
    • n balance something left after other parts have been taken away "there was no remainder","he threw away the rest","he took what he wanted and I got the balance"
    • n balance equality of distribution
    • n balance a state of equilibrium
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Balancing Tricks Balancing Tricks
Dutchess balances a lump of sugar on her nose Dutchess balances a lump of sugar on her nose
Joseph balances precariously on one leg Joseph balances precariously on one leg
A self-sustaining or balanced aquarium A self-sustaining or balanced aquarium

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Julius Caesar, Martin Luther and Jonathan Swift all suffered from Ménièr's disease. It is a disorder of the hearing and balance senses causing hissing, roaring or whistling sounds to be perceived.
    • Balance (Horol) A balance wheel, as of a watch, or clock. See Balance wheelin the Vocabulary).
    • Balance A movement in dancing. See Balance v. t., 8.
    • Balance Act of weighing mentally; comparison; estimate. "A fair balance of the advantages on either side."
    • Balance An apparatus for weighing.
    • Balance An equality between the sums total of the two sides of an account; as, to bring one's accounts to a balance ; -- also, the excess on either side; as, the balance of an account. "A balance at the banker's.""I still think the balance of probabilities leans towards the account given in the text."
    • Balance Equipoise between the weights in opposite scales.
    • Balance (Astron) The constellation Libra.
    • Balance (Astron) The seventh sign in the Zodiac, called Libra, which the sun enters at the equinox in September.
    • Balance The state of being in equipoise; equilibrium; even adjustment; steadiness. "And hung a bottle on each side
      To make his balance true."
      "The order and balance of the country were destroyed.""English workmen completely lose their balance ."
    • Balance To arrange accounts in such a way that the sum total of the debits is equal to the sum total of the credits; as, to balance a set of books.
    • Balance To bring to an equipoise, as the scales of a balance by adjusting the weights; to weigh in a balance.
    • Balance To compare in relative force, importance, value, etc.; to estimate. "Balance the good and evil of things."
    • Balance (Naut) To contract, as a sail, into a narrower compass; as, to balance the boom mainsail.
    • Balance To equal in number, weight, force, or proportion; to counterpoise, counterbalance, counteract, or neutralize. "One expression . . . must check and balance another."
    • Balance To fluctuate between motives which appear of equal force; to waver; to hesitate. "He would not balance or err in the determination of his choice."
    • Balance To have equal weight on each side; to be in equipoise; as, the scales balance .
    • Balance To make the sums of the debits and credits of an account equal; -- said of an item; as, this payment, or credit, balances the account.
    • Balance (Dancing) To move toward a person or couple, and then back.
    • Balance (Dancing) To move toward, and then back from, reciprocally; as, to balance partners.
    • Balance To settle and adjust, as an account; to make two accounts equal by paying the difference between them. "I am very well satisfied that it is not in my power to balance accounts with my Maker."
    • Balance To support on a narrow base, so as to keep from falling; as, to balance a plate on the end of a cane; to balance one's self on a tight rope.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The world record for balancing people on your head is 92 in one hour.
    • n balance An instrument for determining the weight of bodies as compared with an assumed unit-mass. In its simplest and most scientific form it consists of a horizontal lever, having its fulcrum (which is a knife-edge) just above the center of gravity of the whole balance, and carrying two pans suspended as delicately as possible (preferably from knife-edges) at equal distances on the right and left of the fulcrum. It also carries a tongue-pointer or index (a slender rod) rigidly attached to the middle of the beam or lever, and extending vertically up or down. Except in coarse balances, there is a divided scale, over which the end of the tongue moves in the oscillations of the balance. All delicate balances are protected from currents of air by glass cases, and they have contrivances for steadying the pans, and often for removing the knives from their bearings and for replacing them. Exceedingly delicate balances are sometimes inclosed in vacuum-chambers, and have machinery for changing the weights. In using the balance, the substance to be weighed is placed in one pan or scale and the weights are put in the other, and different combinations of weights are tried until the pointer oscillates at equal distances to one side and the other of the position it has when the scales are empty. In chemical balances the last adjustment is obtained by moving a minute weight, or rider, to different points on the decimally graduated beam. The figure shows the beam of a balance of precision. It is so formed as to combine stiffness with lightness, and there are various adjustments for moving the center of gravity, the knife-edges, etc. Other things being equal, the greater the length of the arms and the smaller the distance of the center of gravity below the center of suspension, the greater will be the sensibility of the balance or the angular amount of the deviation produced with a given slight addition to either scale. The degree of sensibility to be desired depends upon the use to which the instrument is to be put. Such a balance as is employed in accurate chemical analysis will indicate a difference of weight of a tenth or hundredth of a milligram.
    • n balance Any apparatus for weighing, as a steelyard or a spring-balance.
    • n balance One of the scales of a balance; in the plural, scales.
    • n balance The act of weighing mentally; the act of comparing or estimating two things as in a balance.
    • n balance An equivalent or equalizing weight; that which is put into one scale to offset the weight in the other; the weight necessary to make up the difference between two unequal weights; a counterpoise, literally or figuratively. Specifically
    • n balance In mining, a counterpoise or counterweight used in such a way as to assist the engine in lifting the load.
    • n balance The part of a clock or watch which regulates the beats: formerly, a pin oscillating on its center, and thus resembling the beam of a balance; now, a wheel. See balance-wheel.
    • n balance The arithmetical difference between the two sides of an account: as, to strike a balance.
    • n balance The sum or amount necessary to balance the two sides of an account, usually spoken of as a debit or a credit balance: as, I have still a balance at my banker's; a balance still due.
    • n balance A surplus; a remainder; the rest; the residue; what remains or is left over: as, he bequeathed the balance of his estate to A. B.; the balance of a meal.
    • n balance A balanced condition; a state of equilibrium or equipoise: as, to lose one's balance.
    • n balance Harmonious arrangement or adjustment; just proportion, especially in the arts of design.
    • n balance In astronomy, a sign of the zodiac, called in Latin Libra, which the sun enters at the equinox in September.
    • n balance a weighing apparatus somewhat resembling the steelyard, but differing from it in having the fulcrum movable, the weight being at one end and the load at the other; the loop by which it is suspended is shifted along the beam until equilibrium is established. The weight of the substance in the scale-pan is indicated by the point at which the fulcrum is placed when the instrument is in equilibrium.
    • balance To weigh; especially, to weigh or consider in the mind; ponder over.
    • balance To estimate the relative weight or importance of, as two or more things; make a comparison between as to relative importance, force, value, etc.
    • balance To bring into a state of equipoise or equilibrium; arrange or adjust (the several parts of a thing) symmetrically: as, to balance the several parts of a machine or a painting.
    • balance To keep in equilibrium or equipoise; poise; steady: as, to balance a pole on one's chin.
    • balance To serve as a counterpoise to; counterbalance; offset: as, the ups and downs of life balance each other.
    • balance To bring into a state of equality; make equal; offset (one thing with another).
    • balance To use as a counterpoise or set-off.
    • balance To sway up and down, like the arms of a balance.
    • balance To settle by paying what remains due on an account; equalize or adjust.
    • balance To examine or compare by summations, etc., so as to show how assets and liabilities or debits and credits stand: as, let us balance our accounts.
    • balance Nautical, to steady (a ship in bad weather) by reefing with a balance-reef.
    • balance To have an equality or equivalence in weight, parts, etc.; be in a state of equipoise; be evenly adjusted: as, the two things exactly balance; I cannot make the account balance.
    • balance To oscillate like the beams of a balance; waver; hesitate.
    • balance In dancing, to move forward and backward, or in opposite directions, like the arms of a balance; especially, to set to a partner.
    • balance To be employed in finding the balance or balances of an account or accounts.
    • n balance In engines, a condition in which the forces at play due to the masses of the moving mechanism are balanced by others which operate in a contrary sense, so that the engine has no tendency to lift or slide upon its foundation, but would run without jar even if not secured to such foundation. Balance is of great importance in locomotive and motor-car engines, since, from the nature of their service, the bed-plates or frames of these machines cannot be fastened to the ground.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Lang Martin balanced seven golf balls vertically without adhesive at Charlotte, NC on 9 February 1980.
    • n Balance bal′ans an instrument for weighing, usually formed of two dishes or scales hanging from a beam supported in the middle: act of weighing two things: equality or just proportion of weight or power, as the balance of power: the sum required to make the two sides of an account equal, hence the surplus, or the sum due on an account: what is needed to produce equilibrium, a counterpoise:
    • v.t Balance to weigh in a balance: to counterpoise: to compare: to settle, as an account, to examine and test accounts in book-keeping, to make the debtor and creditor sides of an account agree
    • v.i Balance to have equal weight or power, &c.: to hesitate or fluctuate
    • n Balance bal′ans (watchmaking) a contrivance which regulates the speed of a clock or watch
    • ***


  • T. L. Scrutton
    T. L. Scrutton
    “In a balanced organization, working towards a common objective, there is success.”
  • William Butler Yeats
    “I balanced all, brought all to mind, the years to come seemed waste of breath, a waste of breath the years behind, in balance with this life, this death.”
  • Ronald Reagan
    “We might come closer to balancing the Budget if all of us lived closer to the Commandments and the Golden Rule.”
  • Horace Mann
    “Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men -- the balance-wheel of the social machinery.”
  • Mary Archer
    Mary Archer
    “It sounds extraordinary but it?s a fact that balance sheets can make fascinating reading.”
  • Fran Lebowitz
    “Food is an important part of a balanced diet.”


Hang in the balance - If an outcome is hanging in the balance, there are at least two possibilities and it is impossible to predict which will win out.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. balaunce, F. balance, fr. L. bilanx, bilancis, having two scales; bis, twice (akin to E. two) + lanx, plate, scale
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.—L. bilanx, having two scales—bis, double, lanx, lancis, a dish or scale.


In literature:

There are two kinds of balancing to which we shall allude; namely, the balancing of other bodies, and the balancing of our own.
"The Book of Sports:" by William Martin
So-called "willfulness" is a will in which the volitional power has not yet been balanced with this inhibitive power.
"Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium" by Jessie H. Bancroft
At the end of each month the balances are put in a simplified ledger.
"The 1926 Tatler" by Various
A brief register of the warrant officer's stores, by which the supplies, expenses, and remains are duly balanced.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
AREA as an element of balance.
"A Color Notation" by Albert H. Munsell
Unhappy fruits of maintaining the balance of power among neighboring nations!
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3 No 2, February 1863" by Various
You have to keep your hands out in front of you, so as to balance properly.
"Happy Days" by Alan Alexander Milne
The tail is also used for balancing the body when the animal is leaping from bough to bough.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study" by Ontario Ministry of Education
He always walked straight, never fell, like that head-balancer who, the other night, had come tumbling down from his perch.
"The Bill-Toppers" by Andre Castaigne
From the cash balance thus obtained the increase or decrease in inventory may be added or subtracted.
"The Young Farmer: Some Things He Should Know" by Thomas Forsyth Hunt

In poetry:

I'd dance among the roses,
I'd take a stately walk,
Balancing precisely
On an Easter-lily stalk.
"Flower Preferences" by John Chipman Farrar
Smart quips of loathsome children
I only yearn to smack,
And what is in the parcels
They balance on the rack.
"The Misanthrope" by Cicely Fox Smith
His dreadful balances are made
To move with moon and tide;
Yet shall not mercy be afraid
Nor justice be denied.
"Compensations" by Alfred Noyes
But the financiers will ask
In that day: IS it not better
To leave broken bank balances
Behind than broken heads?
"The Interrogation" by R S Thomas
Discernment, eloquence, and grace
Proclaim him born to sway
The balance in the highest place,
And bear the palm away.
"On The Promotion Of Edward Thurlow, Esq. To The Lord High Chancellorship Of England" by William Cowper
Each bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew,
And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.
"The Diverting History Of John Gilpin, Showing How He Went Farther Than He Intended, And Came Safe Ho" by William Cowper

In news:

For their family home in Brisbane , Australia, John and Cathy Dillon spent countless hours poring over design magazines and books to strike the right updated-mid-century-modern balance.
For the holidays,29 percent of voters surveyed in a Siena College Research Institute poll released today would like to see a balanced budget with no new taxes.
Brocade 's ADX Load Balancer Provider Offers Top-Tier Performance.
The paradox of Robert C Byrd's life -- and the reason his death was recognized by his Senate colleagues as so significant a milestone -- is the balance he struck between the parochial and the profound.
Eatery finds balance and longevity in Brookside .
Sponsoring their first "Adopt A Day of Nourishment," Lake Tahoe News hosted the hot, well-balanced meal that was served at St Theresa Church parish hall on Monday, Sept 3.
No small matter, balancing the public's right to a free and open judiciary against the privacy rights of the litigants who play within its courtrooms.
It's a delicate balance between commerce and culture.
His bold leadership at the state capital has helped move Michigan forward by fostering the environment necessary for the creation of jobs, streamlining regulations, balancing the budget and reforming taxes.
Alicia DiRago paced backstage at the House of Blues on Wednesday morning as if she were about to perform on the balance beam.
From putting pennies in the piggy bank to classroom instruction in how to balance a check book, the message is to spend and save thoughtfully.
NORTH BROOKFIELD — In less than an hour Friday night, voters at a special town meeting balanced the fiscal year 2013 budget, approved a commercial solar energy zoning bylaw and gave the nod to a handful of housekeeping transfers.
Rockford College Regents seek balance against Wis. A variety of sports, especially high school bowling, cross country and soccer.
It's everything you want: balance, body, mouth feel, complexity, finish.
Obama seeks to promote universal politics balanced with awareness of racial challenges.

In science:

For the system of electromagnetical interacting particles in a condition of local thermodynamic balance we can put Ek ∼ kT , Ep ∼ e2n1/3 .
Macroscopic Einstein equations for a system of interacting particles and their cosmological applications
Both layers are in hydrostatic balance in the vertical direction.
Rotational Evolution During Type I X-Ray Bursts
In a time ≈ Ω verse pressure gradient will be established which balances the Coriolis force (geostrophic balance).
Rotational Evolution During Type I X-Ray Bursts
The Deutsch-Jozsa problem is to determine whether a Boolean function f : Z2n → Z2 is nonconstant or non-balanced where f is said to be balanced if f (x) = 0 for exactly half of the input values.
Quantum Algorithm for Generalized Deutsch-Jozsa Problem
The organic mantles on the silicate particles must be created at a rate sufficient to balance their destruction.
Cosmic Dust in the 21st Century