1 even combination/distribution
ADJ. correct, equal, even, exact, ideal, necessary, optimum, perfect, proper, right With children, it is important to achieve the right balance between love and discipline. | comfortable, equitable, excellent, good, happy, harmonious, healthy a healthy balance of foods | acceptable, adequate, appropriate, fair, reasonable, sensible How do you find an acceptable balance between closeness and distance in a relationship? | careful, delicate, fine, subtle Being a good boss requires a fine balance between kindness and authority. | fragile, precarious, uneasy | overall It is the overall balance of the diet that is important. | ecological, natural Pulling up all the plants will disturb the natural balance of the pond. | hormonal, nutritional | ethnic, gender, social There is an even gender balance amongst staff and students (= equal numbers of men and women).
VERB + BALANCE require | seek | achieve, create, find, strike We need to strike a balance between these conflicting interests. | keep, maintain, sustain You have to maintain a balance in your life or else you'll go crazy. | disturb, upset Tourists often disturb the delicate balance of nature on the island. | redress, restore | affect | alter, change, shift
BALANCE + VERB change, shift
PREP. on ~ (= after considering all the information) On balance, the company has had a successful year. | in ~ It is important to keep the different aspects of your life in balance. | ~ between the balance between academic and practical work | ~ of the balance of animals and plants in the environment
PHRASES the balance of nature
2 division of power/influence
ADJ. changing, shifting | military, political
VERB + BALANCE hold to hold the balance of power (= to be in a position where your support would be just enough to give overall power to one group or another) | affect | change, shift | swing, tilt, tip (= to influence a result/decision) In an interview, smart presentation can tip the balance in your favour.
BALANCE + VERB change, shift
PHRASES the balance of advantage The balance of advantage has shifted from the unions to employers. | the balance of forces/power the changing balance of power between the working and middle class | checks and balances Democracy depends on a system of checks and balances.
3 of the body
ADJ. excellent, good | poor
VERB + BALANCE have Gymnasts have excellent balance. | affect Tightness in one set of muscles will affect your whole balance. | keep I struggled to keep my balance on my new skates. | lose She lost her balance and fell. | recover, regain | knock sb off, throw sb off The sudden movement threw him off balance.
PREP. off ~
PHRASES a sense of balance Cats have a very good sense of balance.
ADJ. account, bank | cash, money | credit, favourable, healthy, positive | debit, negative | cleared, net Interest is calculated on the daily cleared balance and paid direct to your account. | opening | final, outstanding | trade
VERB + BALANCE have Everyone likes to have a healthy bank balance. | ask for, request He asked the cashier for the balance of his current account. | check I'll need to check my bank balance before I spend so much money. | show | achieve | be due The final balance is due six weeks before departure. | pay I'll pay the balance later. | use The balance of the proceeds will be used for new equipment. | bring forward, carry forward the balance brought forward from the previous year
BALANCE + NOUN sheet the company's balance sheet
PHRASES the balance of payments (= the difference between the amount of money coming into and going out of a country), the balance of trade (= the difference in value between imports and exports)
1 keep steady
ADV. carefully, precariously
PREP. on He balanced the glasses carefully on the tray.
2 compare two things; give them equal value
VERB + BALANCE have to, need to | seek to, try to The plan seeks to balance two important objectives. | manage to
PREP. against We have to balance the risks of the new strategy against the possible benefits. | with She tries to balance the needs of her children with those of her employer.