balance ( balances plural & 3rd person present) ( balancing present participle) ( balanced past tense & past participle )
1 verb If you balance something somewhere, or if it balances there, it remains steady and does not fall.
I balanced on the ledge... V prep/adv
He balanced a football on his head. V n prep/adv
2 n-uncount Balance is the ability to remain steady when you are standing up.
The medicines you are currently taking could be affecting your balance.
3 v-recip If you balance one thing with something different, each of the things has the same strength or importance.
Balance spicy dishes with mild ones... V n with n
The state has got to find some way to balance these two needs... V pl-n
Supply and demand on the currency market will generally balance. pl-n V, Also V with n
balanced adj usu adv ADJ
This book is a well balanced biography.
4 n-sing A balance is a situation in which all the different parts are equal in strength or importance.
with supp, oft N between pl-n
Their marriage is a delicate balance between traditional and contemporary values..., ...the ecological balance of the forest.
5 n-sing If you say that thebalance tips in your favour, you start winning or succeeding, especially in a conflict or contest.
...a powerful new gun which could tip the balance of the war in their favour...
6 verb If you balance one thing against another, you consider its importance in relation to the other one.
She carefully tried to balance religious sensitivities against democratic freedom. V n against n
7 verb If someone balances their budget or if a government balances the economy of a country, they make sure that the amount of money that is spent is not greater than the amount that is received.
He balanced his budgets by rigid control over public expenditure. V n
8 verb If you balance your books or make them balance, you prove by calculation that the amount of money you have received is equal to the amount that you have spent.
...teaching them to balance the books... V n
To make the books balance, spending must fall and taxes must rise. V
9 n-count The balance in your bank account is the amount of money you have in it.
usu with supp
I'd like to check the balance in my account please.
10 n-sing Thebalance of an amount of money is what remains to be paid for something or what remains when part of the amount has been spent.
They were due to pay the balance on delivery.
12 If something hangs in the balance, it is uncertain whether it will happen or continue.
in the balance phrase PHR after v, v-link PHR
The fate of a project which could revolutionise the use of computers in hospitals hangs in the balance.
13 If you keep your balance, for example when standing in a moving vehicle, you remain steady and do not fall over. If you lose your balance, you become unsteady and fall over.
keep your balance phrase V inflects
14 If you are off balance, you are in an unsteady position and about to fall.
off balance phrase PHR after v, v-link PHR
A gust of wind knocked him off balance and he fell face down in the mud.
15 If you are thrown off balance by something, you are surprised or confused by it.
off balance phrase PHR after v
She was trying to behave as if his visit hadn't thrown her off balance.
16 You can say on balance to indicate that you are stating an opinion after considering all the relevant facts or arguments.
on balance phrase PHR with cl On balance he agreed with Christine. balance out phrasal verb If two or more opposite things balance out or if you balance them out, they become equal in amount, value, or effect. Outgoings and revenues balanced out... V P The strenuous exercise undergone could balance out the increased calories. V P n (not pron), Also V n P
balance of payments ( balances of payments plural ) A country's balance of payments is the difference, over a period of time, between the payments it makes to other countries for imports and the payments it receives from other countries for exports. (BUSINESS) n-count usu sing
Britain's balance of payments deficit has improved slightly.
balance of power
The balance of power is the way in which power is distributed between rival groups or countries. n-sing
...changes in the balance of power between the United States and Europe.
balance of trade ( balances of trade plural ) A country's balance of trade is the difference in value, over a period of time, between the goods it imports and the goods it exports. (BUSINESS) n-count usu sing
The deficit in Britain's balance of trade in March rose to more than 2100 million pounds.
balance sheet ( balance sheets plural ) A balance sheet is a written statement of the amount of money and property that a company or person has, including amounts of money that are owed or are owing. Balance sheet is also used to refer to the general financial state of a company. (BUSINESS) n-count
Rolls-Royce needed a strong balance sheet.
bank balance ( bank balances plural ) Your bank balance is the amount of money that you have in your bank account at a particular time. n-count
off-balance , off balance
1 adj If someone or something is off-balance, they can easily fall or be knocked over because they are not standing firmly.
v n ADJ, v-link ADJ
He tried to use his own weight to push his attacker off but he was off balance...
2 adj If someone is caught off-balance, they are extremely surprised or upset by a particular event or piece of news they are not expecting.
usu v n ADJ
Mullins knocked me off-balance with his abrupt change of subject..., The government was thrown off-balance by the attempted coup.
Your work-life balance is how you organize your days, for example how many hours you spend at work, and how much time you spend with friends or doing things you enjoy. n-uncount
Senior managers stipulated work-life balance as their main criterion when choosing jobs.