- a state of balance or equilibrium, as from equality or equal distribution of weight; equipoise.
- a dignified, self-confident manner or bearing; composure; self-possession: to show poise in company.
- steadiness; stability: intellectual poise.
- suspense or wavering, as between rest and motion or two phases of motion: the poise of the tides.
- the way of being poised, held, or carried.
- the state or position of hovering: the poise of a bird in the air.
- to adjust, hold, or carry in equilibrium; balance evenly.
- to hold supported or raised, as in position for casting, using, etc.: to poise a spear.
- to hold or carry in a particular manner: She walked, carefully poising a water jug on her head.
- Obsolete. to weigh.
- to rest in equilibrium; be balanced.
- to hover, as a bird in the air.
Origin of poise1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a centimeter-gram-second unit of viscosity, equal to the viscosity of a fluid in which a stress of one dyne per square centimeter is required to maintain a difference of velocity of one centimeter per second between two parallel planes in the fluid that lie in the direction of flow and are separated by a distance of one centimeter. Symbol: P
Origin of poise2
Examples from the Web for poise
Endowing the feverish, PR-patrolled world of presidential politics with thoughtfulness and poise—now that would be radical.Inside The Secret World of London’s National Gallery
November 8, 2014
This was the world of Gustave H. our narrator assumes, one of refinement, poise, and impeccable service.Wes Anderson’s Austrian Muse: Stefan Zweig
February 26, 2014
She's handled her transition from reality TV star to the real world with grace and poise.From ‘The Hills’ to Over the Hill: Lauren Conrad’s Premature Aging
September 24, 2012
Murdoch praised the courage and poise of a young policewoman who arrived first on the scene with a male colleague.Australia’s Collar-Bomb Hoax
August 4, 2011
She is timeless, her combination of poise, kindness, and intelligence are matchless.Huma Abedin: Weiner's Spectacular Wife
June 7, 2011
But according to Letty he was something superhuman in poise and charm.
They could recover their poise; he with the health of a simple mind, and they as children will.
Pee-wee demanded to know, as soon as he had regained his poise and dignity.Pee-wee Harris
Percy Keese Fitzhugh
The adjustment is to be accomplished entirely by the poise of the body.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
From cock-crow to sun-down the streets resounded with 'Poise your muskets!Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
- composure or dignity of manner
- physical balance or assurance in movement or bearing
- the state of being balanced or stable; equilibrium; stability
- the position of hovering
- suspense or indecision
- to be or cause to be balanced or suspended
- (tr) to hold, as in readinessto poise a lance
- (tr) a rare word for weigh 1
- the cgs unit of viscosity; the viscosity of a fluid in which a tangential force of 1 dyne per square centimetre maintains a difference in velocity of 1 centimetre per second between two parallel planes 1 centimetre apart. It is equivalent to 0.1 newton second per square metreSymbol: P
Word Origin and History for poise
early 15c., "weight, quality of being heavy," later "significance, importance" (mid-15c.), from Old French pois "weight, balance, consideration" (12c., Modern French poids), from Medieval Latin pesum "weight," from Latin pensum "something weighted or weighed," (source of Provençal and Catalan pes, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian peso), noun use of neuter past participle of pendere "to weigh" (see pendant).
The sense of "steadiness, composure" first recorded 1640s, from notion of being equally weighted on either side (1550s). Meaning "balance" is from 1711; meaning "way in which the body is carried" is from 1770.
late 14c., "to have a certain weight," from stressed form of Old French peser "to weigh, be heavy; weigh down, be a burden; worry, be a concern," from Vulgar Latin *pesare, from Latin pensare "to weigh carefully, weigh out, counter-balance," frequentative of pendere (past participle pensus) "to weigh" (see pendant). For form evolution from Latin to French, see OED. Meaning "to place in equilibrium" is from 1630s (cf. equipoise). Passive sense of "to be ready" (to do something) is from 1932. Related: Poised; poising. In 15c. a poiser was an official who weighed goods.
- A centimeter-gram-second unit of dynamic viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter.
- The unit of dynamic viscosity in the centimeter-gram-second system, equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter, or 0.1 pascal-seconds.