American Dictionary of the English Language

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POISE, noun poiz.

1. Weight; gravity; that which causes a body to descend or tend to the center.

2. The weight or mass of metal used in weighing with steelyards, to balance the substance weighed.

3. Balance; equilibrium; a state in which things are balanced by equal weight or power; equipoise. The mind may rest in a poise between two opinions.

The particles forming the earth, must convene from all quarters towards the middle, which would make the whole compound rest in a poise

4. A regulating power; that which balances.

Men of an unbounded imagination often want the poise of judgment.

POISE, verb transitive poiz.

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

2. To hold or place in equilibrium or equiponderance.

Our nation with united interest blest,

Not now content to poise shall sway the rest.

3. To load with weight for balancing.

Where could they find another form so fit,

To poise with solid sense a sprightly wit?

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

He cannot consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence of the clearest argumentations, where they would conclude against his desires.

5. To oppress; to weigh down.

Lest leaden slumber poise me down to-morrow,

When I should mount on wings of victory.