Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Equality in distribution, as of weight, relationship, or emotional forces; equilibrium.
  • noun A counterpoise; a counterbalance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To bring into a state of equipoise or balance; hold in equipoise.
  • To counterbalance.
  • noun An equal distribution of weight; equality of weight or force; just balance; a state in which the two ends or sides of a thing are balanced or kept in equilibrium: as, hold the scales in equipoise.
  • noun A balancing weight or force; a counterpoise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Equality of weight or force; hence, equilibrium; a state in which the two ends or sides of a thing are balanced, and hence equal; state of being equally balanced; -- said of moral, political, or social interests or forces.
  • noun Counterpoise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A state of balance; equilibrium.
  • noun A counterbalance.
  • verb transitive To act or make to act as an equipoise.
  • verb transitive To cause to be or stay in equipoise.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun equality of distribution

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From equi- +‎ poise.

Examples

  • I used to believe in having a good time, and all that sort of nonsense; but I've come to see that what he calls equipoise is the true road to happiness, and that it's best to leave off

    A Romantic Young Lady

  • Clute's concept of "equipoise" is important to those types of stories.

    Strange Fiction 8

  • Or would it be more powerful to leave the truth unknown, leave the play in equipoise, an exemplar of Todorov's fantastique?

    Archive 2010-01-01

  • Partial/Total: Conventionally, fantastique employs partial warp morphing, placing credibility and determinacy warps in equipoise, while mystery fiction employs total warp morphing, recasting all alethic quirks as cryptica.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Or would it be more powerful to leave the truth unknown, leave the play in equipoise, an exemplar of Todorov's fantastique?

    Modality and Hamlet

  • I am not a "follower" or "joiner," but the one thing I received that day was exactly what the word equipoise defines: a state of balance and poise.

    Marjorie Hope Rothstein: What's Your Word Of The Year For 2011?

  • Partial/Total: Conventionally, fantastique employs partial warp morphing, placing credibility and determinacy warps in equipoise, while mystery fiction employs total warp morphing, recasting all alethic quirks as cryptica.

    Notes Toward a Theory of Narrative Modality

  • I am not a "follower" or "joiner," but the one thing I received that day was exactly what the word equipoise defines: a state of balance and poise.

    Marjorie Hope Rothstein: What's Your Word Of The Year For 2011?

  • "follower" or "joiner," but the one thing I received that day was exactly what the word equipoise defines: a state of balance and poise.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • The first time I heard the word "equipoise" was in an all-day Siddha Yoga Intensive with the Siddha Guru, Gurumayi.

    Marjorie Hope Rothstein: What's Your Word Of The Year For 2011?

Comments

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  • “A tense equipoise cur­rent­ly pre­vails among the Justices of the Supreme Court, where four hard-​core con­ser­va­tives face off against four moder­ate lib­er­als. An­tho­ny M. Kennedy is the swing vote, de­ter­min­ing the out­come of case after case.”

    — ‘The Choice’, The New Yorker (13 October 2008)

    October 4, 2008

  • Sounds to me like one of the points a judge would rate in an equestrian event.

    October 26, 2009

  • “Sometimes people fault Obama for being too cool. I can see their point 5 percent of the time, but 95 percent of the time, it’s good to have a president with equipoise.”

    The New York Times, The Calm, Cool and Collected President, by David Brooks and Gail Collins, May 5, 2010

    May 6, 2010

  • A wise soul takes pause and enjoys

    The balance of duties and joys.

    When harsh day is done

    Yet night not begun

    He savors the brief equipoise.

    September 16, 2017