Poise vs Dignity - What's the difference?

poise | dignity |

In obsolete|lang=en terms the difference between poise and dignity

is that poise is (obsolete) to add weight to, to weigh down while dignity is (obsolete) fundamental principle; axiom; maxim.

As nouns the difference between poise and dignity

is that poise is (obsolete) weight; an amount of weight, the amount something weighs while dignity is a quality or state worthy of esteem and respect.

As a verb poise

is (obsolete) to hang in equilibrium; to be balanced or suspended; hence, to be in suspense or doubt.




  • (obsolete) Weight; an amount of weight, the amount something weighs.
  • * 1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , I.xii:
  • as an huge rockie clift, / Whose false foundation waues haue washt away, / With dreadfull poyse is from the mayneland rift, / [...] So downe he fell [...].
  • The weight, or mass of metal, used in weighing, to balance the substance weighed.
  • That which causes a balance; a counterweight.
  • * Dryden
  • Men of unbounded imagination often want the poise of judgment.
  • A state of balance, equilibrium or stability
  • (Bentley)
  • composure; freedom from embarrassment or affectation
  • mien; bearing or deportment of the head or body
  • A condition of hovering, or being suspended
  • (physics) A cgs unit of dynamic viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter.
  • (wikipedia poise)

    Derived terms

    * centipoise


  • (obsolete) To hang in equilibrium; to be balanced or suspended; hence, to be in suspense or doubt.
  • * Longfellow
  • The slender, graceful spars / Poise aloft in air.
  • (obsolete) To counterpoise; to counterbalance.
  • * Shakespeare
  • one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality
  • * Dryden
  • to poise with solid sense a sprightly wit
  • (obsolete) To be of a given weight; to weigh.
  • (obsolete) To add weight to, to weigh down.
  • *, II.2:
  • Every man poiseth upon his fellowes sinne, and elevates his owne.
  • * 1597 , William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet , I.2:
  • you saw her faire none els being by, / Her selfe poysd with her selfe in either eye.
  • To hold (something) in equilibrium, to hold balanced and ready; to carry (something) ready to be used.
  • I poised the crowbar in my hand, and waited.
    to poise the scales of a balance
  • * Dryden
  • Nor yet was earth suspended in the sky; / Nor poised , did on her own foundation lie.
  • To keep (something) in equilibrium; to hold suspended or balanced.
  • The rock was poised precariously on the edge of the cliff.
  • To ascertain, as if by balancing; to weigh.
  • * South
  • He cannot sincerely consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence.



  • A quality or state worthy of esteem and respect.
  • * 1752 , (Henry Fielding), , I. viii
  • He uttered this ... with great majesty, or, as he called it, dignity .
  • * 1981 , African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights , art. 5
  • Every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being.
  • * 2008 , Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH) [Switzerland]
  • 'The dignity' of living beings with regard to plants: Moral consideration of plants for their own sake', 3: ... the ECNH has been expected to make proposals from an ethical perspective to concretise the constitutional term ' dignity of living beings with regard to plants. Dignity of Plants
  • Decorum, formality, stateliness.
  • * 1934 , Aldous Huxley, "Puerto Barrios", in Beyond the Mexique Bay :
  • Official DIGNITY tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.Columbia World of Quotations 1996.
  • High office, rank, or station.
  • * 1781 , Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire , F. III. 231:
  • He ... distributed the civil and military dignities among his favourites and followers.
  • * Macaulay
  • And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this?
  • One holding high rank; a dignitary.
  • * Bible, Jude 8.
  • These filthy dreamers speak evil of dignities .
  • (obsolete) Fundamental principle; axiom; maxim.
  • * Sir Thomas Browne
  • Sciences concluding from dignities , and principles known by themselves.


    * worth * worthiness

    Coordinate terms

    * augustness, humanness, nobility, majesty, grandeur, glory, superiority, wonderfulness

    See also

    * affirmation * integrity * self-respect * self-esteem * self-worth


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