Word of the Day

Monday, December 11, 2000

equipoise

\EE-kwuh-poiz; EK-wuh-\ , noun;
1.
A state of being equally balanced; equilibrium; -- as of moral, political, or social interests or forces.
2.
Counterbalance.
Quotes:
What matters is the poetry, and the truest readings of it "are those which are sensitive to the strangeness of Marvell's genius: its delicate equipoise, held between the sensual and the abstract, its refusal to treat experience too tidily, the uncanny tremor of implication that makes the poems' lucid surfaces shimmer with a sense of something undefined and undefinable just beneath."
-- James A. Winn, "Tremors of Implication", New York Times, July 9, 2000
I cannot see how the unequal representation which is given to masses on account of wealth becomes the means of preserving the equipoise and the tranquillity of the commonwealth.
-- Edmund Burke, "Reflections on The Revolution In France",
Origin:
Equipoise is equi-, "equal" + poise, from Middle English poisen, "to balance, weigh," from Old French peser, pois-, ultimately from Latin pensare, "to weigh."
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