- (of a person) composed, dignified, and self-assured.
- being in balance or equilibrium: a balloon poised on the nose of a seal.
- teetering or wavering: to be poised on the brink of disaster.
- hovering or suspended in or as in midair: a bird poised in flight; a helicopter poised overhead.
Origin of poised
- 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
Examples from the Web for poised
Hovering above the scene, commandos in helicopters were poised with automatic rifles.France Kills Charlie Hebdo Murderers
January 9, 2015
The current conflict it fuels is now poised to last long into the new year.No Gods, No Cops, No Masters
January 1, 2015
The brand logo turned out to feature a graceful archer on horseback, in a Tatar national costume, poised to shoot his arrow.Rebranding The Land of Mongol Warriors & Ivan The Terrible
December 25, 2014
The grandson of legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland, Nicholas Vreeland was poised for a decadent life in high-society.From Fashion Player to Photographer Monk
December 3, 2014
And, from the south, chronic wasting disease is poised to decimate the elk herds.What It Takes to Kill a Grizzly Bear
November 23, 2014
For a long time Linda sat with poised pencil, studying her foreground.Her Father's Daughter
They stood before him palpitating like birds, poised, tense for flight.
He lifted it, poised it, made as though to throw it, to thrust with it.
His body was poised for the attack, as a bow is bent to drive forth the arrow.
In his hand a revolver appeared, poised for immediate use if there were need.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
- self-possessed; dignified; exhibiting composure
- balanced and prepared for actiona skier poised at the top of the slope
- 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 poised
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.