What does balance mean?

Definitions for balance
ˈbæl ənsbal·ance

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word balance.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. balancenoun

    a state of equilibrium

  2. balancenoun

    equality between the totals of the credit and debit sides of an account

  3. proportion, proportionality, balancenoun

    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

  4. balance, equilibrium, equipoise, counterbalancenoun

    equality of distribution

  5. remainder, balance, residual, residue, residuum, restnoun

    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"

  6. balancenoun

    the difference between the totals of the credit and debit sides of an account

  7. Libra, Balancenoun

    (astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Libra

  8. Libra, Libra the Balance, Balance, Libra the Scalesnoun

    the seventh sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about September 23 to October 22

  9. symmetry, symmetricalness, correspondence, balancenoun

    (mathematics) an attribute of a shape or relation; exact reflection of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane

  10. counterweight, counterbalance, counterpoise, balance, equalizer, equalisernoun

    a weight that balances another weight

  11. balance wheel, balancenoun

    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

  12. balanceverb

    a scale for weighing; depends on pull of gravity

  13. balance, equilibrate, equilibrize, equilibriseverb

    bring into balance or equilibrium

    "She has to balance work and her domestic duties"; "balance the two weights"

  14. balanceverb

    compute credits and debits of an account

  15. poise, balanceverb

    hold or carry in equilibrium

  16. balanceverb

    be in equilibrium

    "He was balancing on one foot"


  1. balancenoun

    a state in which opposing forces harmonise; equilibrium

  2. balancenoun

    mental equilibrium; mental health; calmness, a state of remaining clear-headed and unperturbed

  3. balancenoun

    something of equal weight used to provide equilibrium (literally or figuratively); counterweight

  4. balancenoun

    a pair of scales

  5. balancenoun

    awareness of both viewpoints or matters; neutrality; rationality; objectivity

  6. balancenoun

    the overall result of conflicting forces, opinions etc.; the influence which ultimately "weighs" more than others

  7. balancenoun

    apparent harmony in art (between differing colours, sounds, etc.)

  8. balancenoun

    a list accounting for the debits on one side, and for the credits on the other.

  9. balancenoun

    the result of such a procedure; the difference between credit and debit of an account.

    I just need to nip to a bank and check my balance.

  10. balanceverb

    to make (items) weigh up.

  11. balanceverb

    (figurative) to make (concepts) agree.

  12. balanceverb

    to hold (an object or objects) precariously.

  13. balanceverb

    to make the credits and debits of (an account) correspond.

  14. balanceverb

    to be in equilibrium.

  15. balanceverb

    to have matching credits and debits.

  16. balancenoun

    a device used to regulate the speed of a watch, clock etc.

  17. balancenoun


  18. Etymology: From balance, from *, from (accusative form of) bilanx, from bi- + lanx.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Balancenoun

    1.One of the six simple powers in mechanicks, used principally for determining the difference of weight in heavy bodies. It is of several forms. Ephraim Chambers

    Etymology: balance, Fr. bilanx, Lat.

    A balance of power, either without or within a state, is best conceived by considering what the nature of a balance is. It supposes three things; first, the part which is held, together with the hand that holds it; and then the two scales, with whatever is weighed therein. Jonathan Swift.

    For when on ground the burden’d balance lies,
    The empty part is lifted up the higher. John Davies.

    I have in equal balance justly weighed,
    What wrong our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer:
    Griefs heavier than our offences. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    Comfort arises not from others being miserable, but from this inference upon the balance, that we suffer only the lot of nature. Roger L'Estrange, Fables.

    Upon a fair balance of the advantages on either side, it will appear, that the rules of the gospel are more powerful means of conviction than such message. Francis Atterbury.

    Care being taken, that the exportation exceed in value the importation; and then the balance of trade must of necessity be returned in coin or bullion. Francis Bacon, Adv. to Sir G. Villiers.

    Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure’s smiling train,
    Hate, fear, and grief, the family of pain;
    These mixed with art, and to due bounds confin’d,
    Make and maintain the balance of the mind. Alexander Pope.

    It is but supposing that all watches, whilst the balance beats, think; and it is sufficiently proved, that my watch thought all last night. John Locke.

  2. To Balanceverb

    Etymology: valancer, Fr.

    If men would but balance the good and the evil of things, they would not venture soul and body for a little dirty interest. Roger L'Estrange, Fables.

    Heav’n that hath plac’d this island to give law,
    To balance Europe, and her states to awe. Edmund Waller.

    The attraction of the glass is balanced, and rendered ineffectual by the contrary attraction of the liquor. Isaac Newton, Opt.

    Judging is, balancing an account, and determining on which side the odds lie. John Locke.

    Give him leave
    To balance the account of Blenheim’s day. Matthew Prior.

    Though I am very well satisfied, that it is not in my power to balance accounts with my Maker, I am resolved, however, to turn all my endeavours that way. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

  3. To Balanceverb

    To hesitate; to fluctuate between equal motives, as a balance plays when charged with equal weights.

    Were the satisfaction of lust, and the joys of heaven, offered at any one’s present possession, he would not balance, or err in the determination of his choice. John Locke.

    Since there is nothing that can offend, I see not why you should balance a moment about printing it. Francis Atterbury, to Pope.


  1. balance

    Balance is a state of equilibrium or stability, where different elements are arranged in proportion or positioned evenly. It can also refer to mental or emotional stability, as well as the state of having one's income and expenditure equal to maintain financial stability. In broader terms, balance can be understood as the state of maintaining harmony among various factors or elements.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Balancenoun

    an apparatus for weighing

  2. Balancenoun

    act of weighing mentally; comparison; estimate

  3. Balancenoun

    equipoise between the weights in opposite scales

  4. Balancenoun

    the state of being in equipoise; equilibrium; even adjustment; steadiness

  5. Balancenoun

    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

  6. Balancenoun

    a balance wheel, as of a watch, or clock. See Balance wheel (in the Vocabulary)

  7. Balancenoun

    the constellation Libra

  8. Balancenoun

    the seventh sign in the Zodiac, called Libra, which the sun enters at the equinox in September

  9. Balancenoun

    a movement in dancing. See Balance, v. i., S

  10. Balancenoun

    to bring to an equipoise, as the scales of a balance by adjusting the weights; to weigh in a balance

  11. Balancenoun

    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

  12. Balancenoun

    to equal in number, weight, force, or proportion; to counterpoise, counterbalance, counteract, or neutralize

  13. Balancenoun

    to compare in relative force, importance, value, etc.; to estimate

  14. Balancenoun

    to settle and adjust, as an account; to make two accounts equal by paying the difference between them

  15. Balancenoun

    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

  16. Balancenoun

    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

  17. Balancenoun

    to move toward, and then back from, reciprocally; as, to balance partners

  18. Balancenoun

    to contract, as a sail, into a narrower compass; as, to balance the boom mainsail

  19. Balanceverb

    to have equal weight on each side; to be in equipoise; as, the scales balance

  20. Balanceverb

    to fluctuate between motives which appear of equal force; to waver; to hesitate

  21. Balanceverb

    to move toward a person or couple, and then back


  1. Balance

    Balance is the tenth studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen. Released in 1995, it is the final of four albums to feature Sammy Hagar as the band's lead vocalist. During the recording of Balance and its subsequent Ambulance Tour, Van Halen's second incarnation broke up. Regarding this time period, in 1997, Eddie Van Halen told Guitar World Magazine "There had been a variety of conflicts brewing between Sammy and the band since I quit drinking on October 2, 1994... It got so bad that I actually started drinking again."

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Balance

    bal′ans, n. 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: (watchmaking) a contrivance which regulates the speed of a clock or watch.—v.t. 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. to have equal weight or power, &c.: to hesitate or fluctuate.—p.adj. Bal′anced, poised so as to preserve equilibrium: well arranged, stable.—ns. Bal′ancer, an acrobat; Bal′ance-sheet, a sheet of paper showing a summary and balance of accounts; Bal′ance-wheel, a wheel in a watch or chronometer which regulates the beat or rate. [Fr.—L. bilanx, having two scales—bis, double, lanx, lancis, a dish or scale.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Balance

    (a) Wheatstone's Bridge, q. v., is sometimes termed the Electric Balance. (b) A suspension or torsion balance is one which includes a filament or pair of filaments to whose lower end or ends are attached a horizontal indicator often called a needle, or a magnetic needle. (See Torsion Balance.) (c) See Induction Balance, Hughes'. (d) For Thermic Balance, see Bolometer. (e) See Balance, Ampere.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    Something wanted by book-keepers and often lost by topers. May be found in a cash-book or the kangaroo gait.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. balance

    One of the simple mechanical powers, used in determining the weights and masses of different bodies. Also, one of the twelve signs of the zodiac, called Libra. Balance-wheel of a chronometer--see CHRONOMETER.

Editors Contribution

  1. balance

    An amount or element in accurate and perfect proportion.

    All of the scales were in perfect balance.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 1, 2020  

  2. balanceverb

    To put (something) in a steady place so it does not fall.

    I balanced a cup on my knee, then spun and it slid to the table.

    Submitted by zakaria1409 on July 12, 2022  

Suggested Resources

  1. balance

    Song lyrics by balance -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by balance on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Balance is ranked #113791 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Balance surname appeared 154 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Balance.

    40.2% or 62 total occurrences were White.
    22.7% or 35 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    18.8% or 29 total occurrences were Asian.
    14.9% or 23 total occurrences were Black.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'balance' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1273

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'balance' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1722

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'balance' in Nouns Frequency: #559

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'balance' in Verbs Frequency: #663

How to pronounce balance?

How to say balance in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of balance in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of balance in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of balance in a Sentence

  1. Spencer Winters:

    The company will have a tremendous competitive advantage with the new balance sheet.

  2. Ben Bernanke:

    The Fed could leave the balance sheet where it is and that wouldn't be a problem.

  3. Luis Costa:

    Lira is not only suffering because of Erdogan's continuous criticism of monetary policy. (It) sells off because the current account gap still translates into a sizeable daily financing need, heavy reliance on short-term dollar borrowing makes this balance of payments very volatile. As usual, currency is the first channel to absorb the shocks.

  4. Paul LePage:

    I had a $1.3 billion short fall, I had another $750 million off-balance debt sheet to the hospitals, I had an unemployment rate of 8.2%.

  5. President Reagan:

    No, no. When Anita McBride balance it all out, I've had a pretty fabulous life.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for balance

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • رصيد, ميزان, توازنArabic
  • теглилка, везна, баланс, равновесие, балансираност, уравновесявам, уравновесен съм, балансирам, балансиран съм, правя балансBulgarian
  • balanç, equilibri, balança, compensar, equilibrarCatalan, Valencian
  • rovnováhaCzech
  • balanceDanish
  • Waage, Ausgewogenheit, Balance, Bilanz, Gleichgewicht, Saldo, balancieren, wiegen, im Gleichgewicht halten, ausgleichen, bilanzierenGerman
  • ισοζύγιο, ζυγαριά, ισορροπία, αντισταθμίζω, ισορροπώ, ζυγίζω, ισοσκελίζωGreek
  • equilibrio, balanza, balance, [[hacer]] [[balance]], balancear, equilibrarSpanish
  • orekaBasque
  • میزان, بالانس, ترازو, تعادلPersian
  • varsivaaka, tasapaino, vaaka, saldo, olla tasapainossaFinnish
  • balance, équilibre, solde, apurerFrench
  • cothromaíochtIrish
  • co-chothromScottish Gaelic
  • balanza, equilibrio, balanceGalician
  • તુલાGujarati
  • מאזניים, איזון, מאזן, שיווי משקלHebrew
  • तराज़ू, तुला, संतुलनHindi
  • mérlegHungarian
  • հավասարակշռություն, բալանս, կշեռքArmenian
  • keseimbanganIndonesian
  • bilanco, balanco, equilibroIdo
  • bilancia, bilancio, neutralità, equilibrio, pareggiare, equivalere, pesare, tenere in equilibrio, bilanciare, conguagliareItalian
  • איזוןHebrew
  • 秤, バランス, 中立, 均衡, 平衡, 天秤, 釣り合いJapanese
  • terazî, yeksengî, hevsengî, denge, terazû, balansKurdish
  • баланстоо, сальдо, тараза, теңдештик, таразалоо, тең салмак, теңдеш, балансташкан, тең салмактык, калдык, баланс, тең салмактоо, кайырмаKyrgyz
  • stateraLatin
  • WoLuxembourgish, Letzeburgesch
  • pusiausvyraLithuanian
  • кантар, врамнотеженост, рамнотежа, биланс, терезија, салдо, вага, измируваMacedonian
  • neraca, teraju, dacing, mizanMalay
  • balans, evenwicht, weegschaalDutch
  • vekt, balanse, balansereNorwegian
  • waga, równowaga, saldoPolish
  • balança, balanço, equilíbrio, equilibrar, pesar, balancearPortuguese
  • balanță, balans, cumpăt, echilibru, bilanțRomanian
  • баланс, весы, сбалансированность, равновесие, взвешенность, уравновешенность, сальдо, уравновешивать, уравновеситьRussian
  • vága, равноте́жа, кантар, kantar, теразије, terazije, ravnotéža, ва́га, balansirati, балансиратиSerbo-Croatian
  • ravnovesje, ravnotežjeSlovene
  • peshore, ekuilibër, balancë, bilancAlbanian
  • balans, avvägning, balansräkning, balansvåg, våg, jämvikt, vågskål, jämviktsläge, balansera, stå och väga, vara i jämvikt, jämna ut sigSwedish
  • சமநிலைTamil
  • సమతుల్యత, త్రాసు, కాటాTelugu
  • สมดุลThai
  • denge, kantar, teraziTurkish
  • рівновагаUkrainian
  • ترازو, تلا, میزانUrdu
  • וואָגYiddish
  • 平衡Chinese

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    steering mechanism for a vessel; a mechanical device by which a vessel is steered
    • A. lumberman
    • B. helm
    • C. muddle
    • D. impurity

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