What does the idiom "in the balance" mean?

Are you using the idiom in the balance but not sure about its meaning? Using idioms, which are important elements of spoken and written language, in the right place strengthens your language skills. Examine the meaning of the in the balance idiom and the situations in which it is used.

Meaning of "in the balance"

Meaning

The idiom "in the balance" is used to convey that something is uncertain or undecided, and may be determined by a delicate or crucial event, decision, or factor. It implies that the outcome is going to affect the situation as a whole, and will determine the final result.

Etymology

The phrase "in the balance" comes from the Latin word "bilancia", which, when literally translated, means "scales" or "balance beam". This is metaphorical, as a balance beam is used to measure and decide the outcome of an event. This is why the idiom is used to describe a situation in which the result is not yet clear.

Usage

The idiom "in the balance" is typically used to describe a situation that is uncertain or undecided. It can be used in both formal and informal contexts, such as in everyday conversations, news articles, or even in written literature.

Example Sentences

  • "The outcome of the election is still in the balance."
  • "The future of our company is in the balance."
  • "His job hangs in the balance, as he awaits the results of the review."
  • "The fate of our planet is in the balance, and it is up to us to save it."

The meanings of the words in the "in the balance" idiom

Idioms with similar meanings in different languages

"Barking up the wrong tree" is an English idiom that means to pursue a mistaken or misguided course of action. In German, the similar idiom is "Auf dem Holzweg sein," which translates to "To be on the wrong track." This idiom emphasizes the idea that when you are pursuing the wrong course of action, you are not going to achieve your desired outcome.

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