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  1. not balanced or not properly balanced.
  2. lacking steadiness and soundness of judgment.
  3. mentally disordered; deranged.
  4. (of an account) not adjusted; not brought to an equality of debits and credits.
  5. Football. of or relating to an offensive line formation having more than three linemen on one side of the center.Compare balanced(def 2).
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Origin of unbalanced

First recorded in 1640–50; un-1 + balanced


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[uhn-bal-uh ns]
verb (used with object), un·bal·anced, un·bal·anc·ing.
  1. to throw or put out of balance.
  2. to disorder or derange, as the mind.
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  1. unbalanced condition.
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Origin of unbalance

First recorded in 1580–90; un-2 + balance
Related formsun·bal·ance·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for unbalanced

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I thought only of myself, and I behaved like a whining, unbalanced boy.

  • You may say that Robespierre was morbid and unbalanced, and you may say the same of Bunyan.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • Had the strain of the past few weeks unbalanced the professors mind?

    Spawn of the Comet

    Harold Thompson Rich

  • Unbalanced by the shove, he stumbled over the Apache whom he had knocked senseless.

    Bloom of Cactus

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • It lifted Uncle Jabez from his seat, and unbalanced the boat.

British Dictionary definitions for unbalanced


  1. lacking balance
  2. irrational or unsound; erratic
  3. mentally disordered or deranged
  4. biased; one-sidedunbalanced reporting
  5. (in double-entry book-keeping) not having total debit balances equal to total credit balances
  6. electronics (of signals or circuitry) not symmetrically disposed about earth or zero reference potential
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verb (tr)
  1. to upset the equilibrium or balance of
  2. to disturb the mental stability of (a person or his mind)
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  1. imbalance or instability
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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

Word Origin and History for unbalanced


1640s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of balance. Earliest use is in reference to the mind, judgment, etc. Of material things, it is recorded from 1732.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper