balance


balance
balance
1. The noun is about four centuries older than the verb, and has derived several figurative uses from its primary meaning of ‘an apparatus for weighing’, as for example in accounting (where the notion of balancing the books is ever-present) and in more abstract uses such as the fragile balance between peace and war. Two centuries ago, the word branched out from the accounting sense in the US and came to mean ‘something (other than money) left over’ (I'll bring the balance of our things / The balance of the penalty still has to be paid). This use is not good style in unquantified contexts when a simpler word such as rest is available.
2. The word occurs in a number of fixed or semi-fixed expressions such as balance of nature, balance of power, balance of probabilities, in the balance, on balance, to maintain a balance, to redress the balance, to strike a balance, to tip the balance, and to upset the balance. These are all established and acceptable uses.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Balance — (de) …   Kölsch Dialekt Lexikon

  • Balance — Bal ance (b[a^]l ans), n. [OE. balaunce, F. balance, fr. L. bilanx, bilancis, having two scales; bis twice (akin to E. two) + lanx plate, scale.] 1. An apparatus for weighing. [1913 Webster] Note: In its simplest form, a balance consists of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balance — BALANCE. s. f. Instrument dont on se sert pour peser, composé de deux bassins de même poids, suspendus à un fléau. Balance juste. Fausse balance. Les bassins, les plats d une balance. La languette d une balance. Le fléau d une balance. Tenir la… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • balance — BALANCE. subst. f. Instrument à deux bassins servant à peser. Balance juste. fausse balance. les bassins de la balance. la languette de la balance. le fleau de la balance. tenir la balance juste. faire pencher la balance. On dit que, Le poids… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Balance — Bal ance (b[a^]l ans), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Balanced} (b[a^]l anst); p. pr. & vb. n. {Balancing} (b[a^]l an*s[i^]ng).] [From {Balance}, n.: cf. F. balancer.] 1. To bring to an equipoise, as the scales of a balance by adjusting the weights; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balance — ► NOUN 1) an even distribution of weight ensuring stability. 2) mental or emotional stability. 3) a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. 4) an apparatus for weighing, especially one with a beam and… …   English terms dictionary

  • Balance — bezeichnet: Gleichgewicht (Physik), ein Gleichgewicht von entgegenwirkenden Kräften oder Aspekten oder einen Zustand der Ausgewogenheit Ausgeglichenheit Eigenschaften einer Datenstruktur; siehe Balancierter Baum Balance (Magazin), ein von der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Balance — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Balance puede referirse a: Balance (contabilidad), informe financiero que refleja la situación del patrimonio de una entidad en un momento determinado. Balance hídrico, el equilibrio entre todos los recursos hídricos …   Wikipedia Español

  • balance — n 1 Balance, equilibrium, equipoise, poise, tension are comparable when denoting the stability or efficiency resulting from the equalization or exact adjustment of opposing forces. Balance suggests a steadiness that results when all parts are… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • balance — or Balance [bal′əns] n. [ME & OFr, prob. via ML < VL * bilancia < LL bilanx, having two scales < L bis, twice + lanx, a dish, scale < IE * elek , extended stem of base * el , to bend > ELBOW] 1. an instrument for weighing, esp. one …   English World dictionary


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