the amount of money remaining in an account. The total of your money in the bank after accounting for all transactions (deposits and withdrawals) is called a "balance". Glossary of Business Terms
"A division of a Securities Account, of a type maintained by a Euroclear Group ( I)CSD on the Single Platform; the functionality available to, and/or rights of, the Securities Account Holder in respect of securities held within that balance being dependent on the type of balance." Euroclear Clearing and Settlement glossary

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I. balance bal‧ance 1 [ˈbæləns] noun [countable]
1. ACCOUNTING BANKING the difference between the total amounts of money coming into and going out of an account in a particular period of time
acˈcount ˌbalance
ACCOUNTING the difference between the total of all the debit and all the credit entries in an account, which is the amount required to make the two sides of the account equal to each other
ˌadverse ˈbalance BANKING ACCOUNTING
the amount by which a bank account is in debt; = negative balance AmE:

• His statement showed an adverse balance of £835.65.

the balance of a bank account showing how much the account contains, or how much it is in debt:

• He wears hand-made suits and has a healthy bank balance.

the amount of money a company has in its bank accounts:

• The company generated cash of £5.35 million in the period, lifting its cash balance to £26 million.

ˈclosing ˌbalance ACCOUNTING BANKING
the balance of an account at the end of an accounting period
ˈcompensating ˌbalance BANKING ACCOUNTING
in the US, an amount of money that must be left with a bank from which a loan has been received
ˈcredit ˌbalance BANKING ACCOUNTING
a balance showing that more money has been received or is owed to a company than has been paid out or is owed by the company:

• The bank statement shows a credit balance of £298.75.

ˈdebit ˌbalance BANKING ACCOUNTING
a balance showing that more money has been paid out or is owed by a company than has been received or is owed to the company:

• The account was liquidated, and had a debit balance of almost $3.4 million.

ˌdouble ˌdeclining ˈbalance
ACCOUNTING a method of calculating depreciation (= the gradual loss in something's value) where twice the normal rate is subtracted in each period of time. For example, for an asset depreciated over five years, 40% of its remaining value is depreciated each year, not 20%.
ˌidle ˈbalance
BANKING ACCOUNTING money kept in a bank account that does not pay interest, for example a current account:

• As interest rates begin to rise, people choose to hold fewer idle balances.

ˌnegative ˈbalance BANKING ACCOUNTING
the amount by which a bank is in debt; = adverse balance Bre
ˈopening ˌbalance ACCOUNTING BANKING
the balance of an account at the beginning of an accounting period:

• an opening balance of £1000, income of £500 pounds, expenditure of £700 and a closing balance of £800

ˈtrial ˌbalance ACCOUNTING
a way of checking that a set of accounts is accurate, by adding up the amounts received and the amounts paid out to see whether they are the same
ˌunsold ˈbalance FINANCE
the value of the shares, bonds etc that have not been bought at the end of an issue (= offer to the public to buy):

• Bank of America reported an unsold balance of about $28 million on an issue of $121 million bonds.

— see also competitive balance
2. an amount still owed after some money has been paid:

• The firm has paid $128,000, but whether it will ever pay the balance remains uncertain.

• Most people have an outstanding balance on their credit cards for a couple of months, then pay it off.

3. the rest or remaining part of an amount:

• 20,000 barrels a day are shipped to San Francisco, and the balance is delivered by pipeline directly to Los Angeles.

  [m0] II. balance balance 2 verb
1. [transitive] ACCOUNTING to calculate the amount needed to make the debit side and the credit side of an account equal, perhaps by looking for mistakes
2. [intransitive] ACCOUNTING if the debit and credit sides of an account balance, they show the same amounts
3. balance the accounts/​books/​budget ACCOUNTING to do what is necessary to spend no more than the amount of money received, usually by a government:

• Costa Rica has worked on programs with the International Monetary Fund to balance its accounts.

• Real differences exist between the administration and Congress over how to balance the budget and where to cut taxes.

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balance UK US /ˈbæləns/ noun
[C, usually singular] BANKING the difference in the amount of money that has come into and gone out of a bank account in a particular period: »

Virtually all financial records - bank balances, mutual fund, and brokerage records - are held in electronic form.


I checked my balance at the ATM.

See also ADVERSE BALANCE OF TRADE(Cf. ↑adverse balance of trade), BALANCE OF TRADE(Cf. ↑balance of trade), CASH BALANCE(Cf. ↑cash balance), CLOSING BALANCE(Cf. ↑closing balance), CREDIT BALANCE(Cf. ↑credit balance), COMPENSATING BALANCE(Cf. ↑compensating balance), DEBIT BALANCE(Cf. ↑debit balance), IDLE BALANCE(Cf. ↑idle balance), OPENING BALANCE(Cf. ↑opening balance), TRIAL BALANCE(Cf. ↑trial balance), UNFAVOURABLE BALANCE(Cf. ↑unfavourable balance), UNSOLD BALANCE(Cf. ↑unsold balance)
[C, usually singular] ACCOUNTING the amount shown in a company's financial records that is the difference between the total credits and the total debits in a particular account: »

This balance is then transferred to the profit and loss account.

See also ADVERSE BALANCE OF TRADE(Cf. ↑adverse balance of trade), DOUBLE DECLINING BALANCE(Cf. ↑double declining balance)
[C, usually singular] FINANCE the amount of money that you still owe after you have paid a part of the total amount: »

Cut your outstanding mortgage balance and your monthly repayments will also come down.

[C] FINANCE the amount of money that you owe on a credit card account: »

He is one of millions of people who does not pay off his credit card balance every month.

See also BALANCE TRANSFER(Cf. ↑balance transfer)
[S] the remaining part of an amount: »

We ordered 200 copies; 50 to be delivered now and the balance next month.

[S or U] the state where things exist in equal amounts or are of equal importance: »

They are looking for a better balance between internet security and ease of use.


You need to find a balance between the demands of work and those of your home life.

See also COMPETITIVE BALANCE(Cf. ↑competitive balance), WORK-LIFE BALANCE(Cf. ↑work-life balance)
balance UK US /ˈbæləns/ verb
[T] ACCOUNTING to arrange a system of accounts so that the amount of money spent is no more than the amount received: »

The Conservatives initially balanced the books by selling assets and cutting health and education spending.

[I] ACCOUNTING, BANKING if an account balances, the amounts of money on the credit and debit sides are equal: »

He had made some kind of computation error and the account didn't balance.

[T] to spend only as much money as you have received, or planned to spend: »

The President is unlikely to balance the budget in this term of office, but he does hope to lower the deficit.

[I or T] (also balance (sth) out) to be equal in amount or value, or to make things equal in amount or value: »

They hoped that this month's good sales would balance out the poor sales in the previous month.

[T] to give two or more things equal amounts of importance, time, or money so that a situation is successful: »

I struggle to balance work and family commitments.

a balancing act — Cf. a balancing act

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • balance — BALANCE. subst. f. Instrument à deux bassins servant à peser. Balance juste. fausse balance. les bassins de la balance. la languette de la balance. le fleau de la balance. tenir la balance juste. faire pencher la balance. On dit que, Le poids… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

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  • balance — 1. The noun is about four centuries older than the verb, and has derived several figurative uses from its primary meaning of ‘an apparatus for weighing’, as for example in accounting (where the notion of balancing the books is ever present) and… …   Modern English usage

  • balance — ► NOUN 1) an even distribution of weight ensuring stability. 2) mental or emotional stability. 3) a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. 4) an apparatus for weighing, especially one with a beam and… …   English terms dictionary

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  • balance — n 1 Balance, equilibrium, equipoise, poise, tension are comparable when denoting the stability or efficiency resulting from the equalization or exact adjustment of opposing forces. Balance suggests a steadiness that results when all parts are… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • balance — or Balance [bal′əns] n. [ME & OFr, prob. via ML < VL * bilancia < LL bilanx, having two scales < L bis, twice + lanx, a dish, scale < IE * elek , extended stem of base * el , to bend > ELBOW] 1. an instrument for weighing, esp. one …   English World dictionary

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