steadiness; stability: intellectual poise.
a state of balance or equilibrium, as from equality or equal distribution of weight; equipoise.
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.
to put (a person or thing) in a state or position of readiness or preparedness: He has poised himself to succeed. The mayor is credited with poising the city for impressive growth and development.
Obsolete. to weigh.
to rest in equilibrium; be balanced.
to hover, as a bird in the air.
Other definitions for poise (2 of 2)
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use poise in a sentence
Now known as “Sir” to his students, Rohit, 49, is tall and dark-complexioned, with a firm yet calm poise.A New Martial Art Keeps Cult Leader’s Teachings Alive | Daniel Malloy | December 18, 2020 | Ozy
The preteen Miss Thang has matured into a grown woman full of poise and compassion.
Denver Coach Vic Fangio is known for exotic schemes and blitzes, and he made Tagovailoa, who had been defined by his poise and decisiveness, look like an uncertain rookie.What to know from NFL Week 11: Carson Wentz looks lost, and Taysom Hill is just getting started | Adam Kilgore | November 23, 2020 | Washington Post
He completed 20 of 28 passes for 248 yards, throwing with poise and precision.What to know for NFL Week 9: Tua Tagovailoa arrives, and Tom Brady’s Buccaneers take a beating | Adam Kilgore | November 9, 2020 | Washington Post
What’s more, this compact crossover has been fully redesigned, with all the poise and pluck of a Porsche Macan.
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 | Tim Teeman | November 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Zaks had to find the delicate poise between vivid restating and slavish reenactment.New York’s Greatest Show Or How They Did Not Screw Up ‘Guys and Dolls’ | Ross Wetzsteon | April 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
This was the world of Gustave H. our narrator assumes, one of refinement, poise, and impeccable service.
And Rush Limbaugh only served to help turn her into a model of responsible activism, engagement, and political poise.Martha Plimpton on Women’s Rights, Sandra Fluke, and Organization A is For | Martha Plimpton | November 5, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Anna Klassen | September 24, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
She was a woman of too much natural and acquired poise to remain askew under any shock.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
The Hindu walks with a great deal of poise, in fact, very much like an elephant, but he also has the agility of the panther.Kari the Elephant | Dhan Gopal Mukerji
He slowed down the car, but Miss Scovill sat upright and recovered her mental poise, though with evident effort.Mystery Ranch | Arthur Chapman
The whole figure had the poise and lightness of a vision; yet in the face an exquisite human tenderness smiled out.The Dragon Painter | Mary McNeil Fenollosa
Splendid was the emir in form and face, with broad shoulders and lordly height and poise.God Wills It! | William Stearns Davis
British Dictionary definitions for poise (1 of 2)
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 readiness: to poise a lance
British Dictionary definitions for poise (2 of 2)
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 metre: Symbol: P
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for poise
The unit of dynamic viscosity in the centimeter-gram-second system, equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter, or 0.1 pascal-seconds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.