A ballerina adjusting her shoes.
An example of poise is the nature of a ballerina.
- balance; stability
- ease and dignity of manner; self-assurance; composure
- the condition of being calm or serene
- carriage; bearing, as of the body or head
- Now Rare
- a suspension of activity in a condition of balance
- suspense; irresolution; indecision
Origin of poiseMiddle English pois, weight from Old French from Vulgar Latin an unverified form pesum from Classical Latin pensum, something weighed from pendere, to weigh: see pendant
transitive verbpoised, pois′ing
- to balance; keep steady
- to suspend: usually passive or reflexive
- Rare to weigh
Origin of poiseME poisen < OFr poiser < peise, inflected form of peser, to weigh < VL pesare < L pensare, to weigh out < pensus, pp. of pendere
- to be suspended or balanced
- to hover
Origin of poiseFr, after J. L. M. Poiseuille (1799-1869), French anatomist
verbpoised, pois·ing, pois·es
- To carry or hold in equilibrium; balance: I poised the pencil on the edge of the table.
- To cause to be ready or about to do something: She is poised to win the nomination.
- Confident composure; self-possession: answered the reporters' questions with poise.
- Bearing of the body, especially when graceful: a ballerina's poise.
Origin of poiseMiddle English poisen to balance, weigh from Old French peser pois- from Vulgar Latin pēsāre from Latin pēnsāre ; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
Origin of poiseFrench after Jean Louis Marie Poiseuille (1799-1869), French physician and physiologist
- The weight, or mass of metal, used in weighing, to balance the substance weighed.
- That which causes a balance; a counterweight.
- A state of balance, equilibrium or stability
- composure; freedom from embarrassment or affectation
- mien; bearing or deportment of the head or body
- A condition of hovering, or being suspended
- (physics) A cgs unit of dynamic viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter.
(third-person singular simple present poises, present participle poising, simple past and past participle poised)
- to poise with solid sense a sprightly wit
- (now rare) To hold (something) with or against something else in equilibrium; to balance, counterpose. [from 16th c.]
- To hold (something) in equilibrium, to hold balanced and ready; to carry (something) ready to be used. [from 16th c.]
- I poised the crowbar in my hand, and waited.
- to poise the scales of a balance
- To keep (something) in equilibrium; to hold suspended or balanced. [from 17th c.]
- The rock was poised precariously on the edge of the cliff.
- To ascertain, as if by balancing; to weigh.