What does the idiom "be thrown off balance" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. be thrown off balance meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "be thrown off balance"


To “be thrown off balance” is an idiom which means to be taken off guard, to be surprised or disturbed by something unexpected. It suggests the feeling of being staggering or off kilter, as though someone has been struck or knocked down. It is also used to describe a person who is upset or disoriented, whether it be emotionally or mentally.


The phrase “be thrown off balance” dates back to the beginning of the 1600s and is derived from the literal definition of the word “balance.” Generally, when someone is “in balance,” they are in equilibrium and can make decisions without feeling overwhelmed by external stimulus or emotional turmoil. Thus, when someone is “thrown off balance,” his or her composure has been disrupted and he or she can no longer function in a structured manner.


The phrase “be thrown off balance” is most often used in an informal context and is often used in sentences like “he was thrown off balance by the news” or “the news threw her off balance.” It is frequently used to talk about someone’s emotional responses to something unexpected or surprising. It can also be used to describe someone who is feeling overwhelmed or out of sorts due to a certain situation.

Example Sentences

  • The thunderstorm outside the window threw me off balance and I had a hard time concentrating on the task at hand.
  • He was thrown off balance when he heard the news that his best friend had betrayed him.
  • The sudden loss of her job threw her off balance, and she was unsure how to move forward.
  • I was thrown off balance when I saw her after so many years.

The meanings of the words in the "be thrown off balance" idiom

From One Language to Another: Idioms in Translation

Translating idioms from one language to another can be a tricky task, as the cultural context behind an idiom can be difficult to capture. For example, the French phrase "avoir le cafard" translates to "to have the cockroach," which means to feel down or depressed. Similarly, the Chinese idiom "????" (j?ng d? zh? w?) translates to "frog at the bottom of a well," which refers to someone with a narrow view of the world.


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