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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Poise \Poise\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Poised, ; p. pr. & vb. n. Poising.] [OE. poisen, peisen, OF. & F. peser, to weigh, balance, OF. il peise, il poise, he weighs, F. il p[`e]se, fr. L. pensare, v. intens. fr. pendere to weigh. See Poise, n., and cf. Pensive.] [Formerly written also peise.]

  1. To balance; to make of equal weight; as, to poise the scales of a balance.

  2. To hold or place in equilibrium or equiponderance.

    Nor yet was earth suspended in the sky; Nor poised, did on her own foundation lie.

  3. To counterpoise; to counterbalance.

    One scale of reason to poise another of sensuality.

    To poise with solid sense a sprightly wit.

  4. To ascertain, as by the balance; to weigh.

    He can not sincerely consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence.

  5. To weigh (down); to oppress. [Obs.]

    Lest leaden slumber peise me down to-morrow.


n. The act by which something is poised. vb. (present participle of poise English)

Usage examples of "poising".

Its shrill and piercing cries drew all eyes upon it, and, as it came nearer, a dark spot which circled above it resolved itself into a peregrine falcon, which hovered over its head, poising itself from time to time, and watching its chance of closing with its clumsy quarry.

His hand closed on it, but the other took it away from him, almost gently, poising it over him, cocking it so far back that it disappeared behind the corduroy shoulder.

The dust went up elegantly, orange and gray, poising just over the scene like the fighter’s breath.

He whipped it back with an oath, while she tore herself free and slipped behind Alleyne, cowering up against him like the trembling leveret who sees the falcon poising for the swoop above him.

He was still three paces, however, from his victim's side when John upon the cliff above plucked up a huge boulder, and, poising it for an instant, dropped it with fatal aim upon the slinger beneath him.

From the windows the eye reached down over the sparse thickets, the few tilled fields, the whitewashed cottages, to the tall woods upon the bank, and caught a glimpse of bright water and the gulls poising and dipping above it.

Beyond the house was another gap, through which he could see straight down to the water of the Lough, shining in the afternoon sun, and the white gulls poising and swooping above it.