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From Old French contrepois, contrepeser, later assimilated to poise.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkaʊntə(ɹ)ˌpɔɪz/
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counterpoise (plural counterpoises)

  1. A weight sufficient to balance another, as in the opposite scale of a balance; an equal weight.
  2. An equal power or force acting in opposition; a force sufficient to balance another force.
  3. The relation of two weights or forces which balance each other; equilibrium; equiponderance.



counterpoise (third-person singular simple present counterpoises, present participle counterpoising, simple past and past participle counterpoised)

  1. To act against with equal weight; to equal in weight; to balance the weight of; to counterbalance.
    • 1655, Kenelm Digby, Two Treaties
      Weights, counterpoising one another.
  2. To act against with equal power; to balance.
    • (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      So many freeholders of English will be able to beard and to counterpoise the rest.