Meaning of BALANCE in English

BALANCE

/ ˈbæləns; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun

EQUAL AMOUNTS

1.

[ U , sing. ] balance (between A and B) a situation in which different things exist in equal, correct or good amounts

—see also imbalance :

Try to keep a balance between work and relaxation.

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 .

OF BODY

2.

[ U ] 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.

MONEY

3.

[ C , usually sing. ] 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)

4.

[ C , usually sing. ] an amount of money still owed after some payment has been made :

The balance of $500 must be paid within 90 days.

INSTRUMENT FOR WEIGHING

5.

[ C ] an instrument for weighing things, with a bar that is supported in the middle and has dishes hanging from each end

IDIOMS

- (on) the balance of evidence / probability

- (be / hang) in the balance

- (catch / throw sb) off balance

- on balance

—more at redress verb , strike verb , swing verb , tip verb

■ verb

KEEP STEADY

1.

balance (sth) (on sth) to put your body or sth else into a position where it is steady and does not fall :

[ v ]

How long can you balance on one leg?

[ vn ]

The television was precariously balanced on top of a pile of books.

She balanced the cup on her knee.

BE / KEEP EQUAL

2.

balance (sth) (out) to be equal in value, amount, etc. to sth else that has the opposite effect

SYN offset :

[ vn ]

This year's profits will balance our previous losses.

His lack of experience was balanced by a willingness to learn.

[ v ]

The good and bad effects of any decision will usually balance out.

3.

[ vn ] balance A with / and B to give equal importance to two contrasting things or parts of sth :

She tries to balance home life and career.

COMPARE

4.

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.

MONEY

5.

[ vn ] ( 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

••

WORD ORIGIN

Middle 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.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.