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1. A counterbalancing weight.
2. A force or influence that balances or equally counteracts another.
3. The state of being in equilibrium.
tr.v. coun·ter·poised, coun·ter·pois·ing, coun·ter·pois·es
1. To oppose with an equal weight; counterbalance.
2. To act against with an equal force or power; offset.

[Alteration (influenced by poise) of Middle English countrepeis, from Old French contrepeis : contre-, counter- + peis, weight; see avoirdupois.]


1. a force, influence, etc, that counterbalances another
2. a state of balance; equilibrium
3. a weight that balances another
4. (Telecommunications) a radial array of metallic wires, rods, or tubes arranged horizontally around the base of a vertical aerial to increase its transmitting efficiency
vb (tr)
5. to oppose with something of equal effect, weight, or force; offset
6. to bring into equilibrium
7. archaic to consider (one thing) carefully in relation to another


(ˈkaʊn tərˌpɔɪz)

n., v. -poised, -pois•ing. n.
1. a counterbalancing weight.
2. any equal and opposing power or force.
3. the state of being in equilibrium; balance.
4. to counterbalance.
[1375–1425; late Middle English countrepeis < Anglo-French; Old French contrepois=contre- counter- + pois; see poise1]


Past participle: counterpoised
Gerund: counterpoising

I counterpoise
you counterpoise
he/she/it counterpoises
we counterpoise
you counterpoise
they counterpoise
I counterpoised
you counterpoised
he/she/it counterpoised
we counterpoised
you counterpoised
they counterpoised
Present Continuous
I am counterpoising
you are counterpoising
he/she/it is counterpoising
we are counterpoising
you are counterpoising
they are counterpoising
Present Perfect
I have counterpoised
you have counterpoised
he/she/it has counterpoised
we have counterpoised
you have counterpoised
they have counterpoised
Past Continuous
I was counterpoising
you were counterpoising
he/she/it was counterpoising
we were counterpoising
you were counterpoising
they were counterpoising
Past Perfect
I had counterpoised
you had counterpoised
he/she/it had counterpoised
we had counterpoised
you had counterpoised
they had counterpoised
I will counterpoise
you will counterpoise
he/she/it will counterpoise
we will counterpoise
you will counterpoise
they will counterpoise
Future Perfect
I will have counterpoised
you will have counterpoised
he/she/it will have counterpoised
we will have counterpoised
you will have counterpoised
they will have counterpoised
Future Continuous
I will be counterpoising
you will be counterpoising
he/she/it will be counterpoising
we will be counterpoising
you will be counterpoising
they will be counterpoising
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been counterpoising
you have been counterpoising
he/she/it has been counterpoising
we have been counterpoising
you have been counterpoising
they have been counterpoising
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been counterpoising
you will have been counterpoising
he/she/it will have been counterpoising
we will have been counterpoising
you will have been counterpoising
they will have been counterpoising
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been counterpoising
you had been counterpoising
he/she/it had been counterpoising
we had been counterpoising
you had been counterpoising
they had been counterpoising
I would counterpoise
you would counterpoise
he/she/it would counterpoise
we would counterpoise
you would counterpoise
they would counterpoise
Past Conditional
I would have counterpoised
you would have counterpoised
he/she/it would have counterpoised
we would have counterpoised
you would have counterpoised
they would have counterpoised
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.counterpoise - a weight that balances another weight
sash weight - a counterweight for a sliding sash
tare - (chemical analysis) a counterweight used in chemical analysis; consists of an empty container that counterbalances the weight of the container holding chemicals
weight - an artifact that is heavy
Verb1.counterpoise - constitute a counterweight or counterbalance to
counterbalance, oppose - contrast with equal weight or force


A stable state characterized by the cancellation of all forces by equal opposing forces:


A. Ncontrapeso m
B. VTcontrapesar
References in classic literature ?
As before, the Pequod steeply leaned over towards the sperm whale's head, now, by the counterpoise of both heads, she regained her even keel; though sorely strained, you may well believe.
The general prevalence of agricultural pursuits of a quiet and gradual nature, not requiring those periodic seasons of hurry and pressure that are called for in the business of more southern districts, makes the task of the negro a more healthful and reasonable one; while the master, content with a more gradual style of acquisition, has not those temptations to hardheartedness which always overcome frail human nature when the prospect of sudden and rapid gain is weighed in the balance, with no heavier counterpoise than the interests of the helpless and unprotected.
Here he began to thunder with his axe upon the gate of the castle, protected in part from the shot and stones cast by the defenders by the ruins of the former drawbridge, which the Templar had demolished in his retreat from the barbican, leaving the counterpoise still attached to the upper part of the portal.
The whole extent of this prince's dominions reaches about six thousand miles in length, and from three to five in breadth: whence I cannot but conclude, that our geographers of Europe are in a great error, by supposing nothing but sea between Japan and California; for it was ever my opinion, that there must be a balance of earth to counterpoise the great continent of Tartary; and therefore they ought to correct their maps and charts, by joining this vast tract of land to the north-west parts of America, wherein I shall be ready to lend them my assistance.
Ambition breaks not thy rest, nor doth this world's empty pomp disturb thee, for the utmost reach of thy anxiety is to provide for thy ass, since upon my shoulders thou hast laid the support of thyself, the counterpoise and burden that nature and custom have imposed upon masters.
This great cement of society, which will diffuse itself almost wholly through the channels of the particular governments, independent of all other causes of influence, would insure them so decided an empire over their respective citizens as to render them at all times a complete counterpoise, and, not unfrequently, dangerous rivals to the power of the Union.
An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association in the mediaeval commune; here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany), there taxable "third estate" of the monarchy (as in France), afterwards, in the period of manufacture proper, serving either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, corner-stone of the great monarchies in general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world-market, conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway.
But nature had provided against this by giving her a natural counterpoise, which rendered needless the deceitful adjunct of a bustle; in Rose Cormon everything was genuine.
The physician with his theory, rather obtained from than corrected by experiments on the human constitution; the pious, self- denying, laborious, and ill-paid missionary; the half-educated, litigious, envious, and disreputable lawyer, with his counterpoise, a brother of the profession, of better origin and of better character; the shiftless, bargaining, discontented seller of his “betterments;” the plausible carpenter, and most of the others, are more familiar to all who have ever dwelt in a new country.
He took Manicamp with him, for his equable and dreamy disposition acted as a counterpoise to his own.
They may sometimes discourse high, but that doth little hurt; besides, they are a counterpoise to the higher nobility, that they grow not too potent; and, lastly, being the most immediate in authority, with the common people, they do best temper popular commotions.
The litter of rags tumbled partly into and partly out of a one-legged wooden scale, hanging without any counterpoise from a beam, might have been counsellors' bands and gowns torn up.