[ poizd ]
/ pɔɪzd /


(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

First recorded in 1635–45; poise1 + -ed2, -ed3


un·poised, adjective

Definition for poised (2 of 2)

[ poiz ]
/ pɔɪz /


verb (used with object), poised, pois·ing.

verb (used without object), poised, pois·ing.

to rest in equilibrium; be balanced.
to hover, as a bird in the air.

Origin of poise

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English pois(e) weight < Old French (French poids) < Late Latin pēnsum, noun use of neuter past participle of Latin pendere to weigh; (v.) Middle English poisen to weigh < Old French poiser, variant, based on tonic stem, of peser < Latin pēnsāre, frequentative of pendere
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for poised

British Dictionary definitions for poised (1 of 3)

/ (pɔɪzd) /


self-possessed; dignified; exhibiting composure
balanced and prepared for actiona skier poised at the top of the slope

British Dictionary definitions for poised (2 of 3)

/ (pɔɪz) /



Word Origin for poise

C16: from Old French pois weight, from Latin pēnsum, from pendere to weigh

British Dictionary definitions for poised (3 of 3)

/ (pwɑːz, pɔɪz) /


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 for poise

C20: named after Jean Louis Marie Poiseuille (1799–1869), French physician
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

Medical definitions for poised

[ poiz, pwäz ]


A centimeter-gram-second unit of dynamic viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for poised

[ poiz, pwäz ]

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.