/ ˈbæləns; NAmE / noun , verb
[ 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 .
[ 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.
[ 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)
[ 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
[ C ] an instrument for weighing things, with a bar that is supported in the middle and has dishes hanging from each end
- (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
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
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.
[ 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.
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.
[ 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
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.