balance the books

1

Add up the debits and credits of an account and determine the difference; also, bring the two sides into equilibrium. For example, It's Joe's job to balance the books each quarter. [Late 1500s]

2

Settle an account by paying what is due, as in We can't balance the books till your last check clears. [Early 1700s]


Nearby words

  1. balance pipe,
  2. balance shaft,
  3. balance sheet,
  4. balance spring,
  5. balance staff,
  6. balance weight,
  7. balance wheel,
  8. balanced,
  9. balanced anesthesia,
  10. balanced diet

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.