Out of equilibrium, unsteady, as in When learning how to ride a two-wheeler, it's easy to get off balance and fall, or She stood up and threw the canoe off balance. [Mid-1900s]
Surprised, unprepared, as in The teacher gives unannounced tests to keep the class off balance. [Second half of 1900s]
Examples from the Web for off-balance
Libra The current cosmic climate brings temptation, potentially setting you off-balance.Zodiac Beast: April 24-30
Starsky + Cox
April 23, 2011
Indeed, Congress confronted this same problem in 1933, when it investigated the off-balance sheet transactions of that era.
The gaping hole in the bill involves a concept known as off-balance sheet accounting.
That people were allowed to have all these off-balance sheets was like having a second set of books.The End Is Near!
March 5, 2009
Even when she was off-balance, her feet tapped out the elementary routine.At the Post
Horace Leonard Gold
Retief put out an arm as the vehicle rounded a corner, just catching the ambassador as he staggered, off-balance.The Yillian Way
John Keith Laumer
Youre not yourself; youre over-strained and off-balance and Im so frightfully sorry all this has fallen upon you at such a time.Adrienne Toner
Anne Douglas Sedgwick
The second beam took Rynason in the left wrist and spun him off-balance for a moment.Warlord of Kor
Terry Gene Carr