Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person who performs feats of balance, such as tightrope walking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a tightrope walker

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who balances himself in unnatural positions and hazardous movements; a balancer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who balances equally; one who practises balancing in unnatural positions and hazardous movements, as a rope-dancer or funambulist.

Etymologies

French équilibriste, from équilibre, equilibrium, from Latin aequilībrium; see equilibrium.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
[Mid. 18th century], French équilibriste, from équilibre ("balance"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When the equilibrist Madame Phom returned to Fan Nan Nan, she did not find Dickie Goldwire at home.

    Villa Incognito

  • Another, an equilibrist, showed her how, when he was obliged to stay in bed with a broken leg and had nobody to wait on him, he used to wait on himself by going round the room on his hands ... like that.

    The Bill-Toppers

  • Nor do I see my way clear in providing for the steeple-climber, the equilibrist, the railroad president, or the tea-taster.

    Reveries of a Schoolmaster

  • Naturally a good equilibrist, the girl took easily to the motor-cycle, and even when Joe went at top speed on some smooth road she liked it.

    Joe Strong, the Boy Fish or Marvelous Doings in a Big Tank

  • For the unusual cold and the night work together had betrayed him into potations even beyond his wont, the slippery pavements had proven very baffling to his dignified tread -- and the snowy signet upon the back of his topcoat spoke to a delighted office all too plainly that at last the alcoholic equilibrist par excellence had fallen.

    White Ashes

  • Above, on one side, is an equilibrist swinging on a slack rope; and on the other, a man flying from the tower to the ground, by means of a groove fastened to his breast, slipping over a line strained from one place to the other.

    The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency

  • The steward brought me my coffee, and, wedged by boxes and pillows, like an equilibrist, I sat up and drank it.

    Chapter 30

  • At that time I was a contortionist and they called me the Snake-Man; then I became an equilibrist and adopted the name of

    The Quest

  • Bob with listless enthusiasm, teetering the while upon his cane like a Japanese equilibrist.

    The Auction Block

  • He was laboring over a gigantic treadmill, balancing like an equilibrist upon a revolving sphere.

    Rainbow's End

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