Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Considering everything; all taken together. There have been ups and downs, but on balance we've had a very successful first year of business.
Taking everything into consideration, as in On balance I think we've had a very good year. This expression, which in effect means "balancing all the factors involved," was first recorded in 1719.
on balancewhen all factors have been taken into consideration.
on ˈbalancewhen advantages and disadvantages, successes and failures, etc. have been compared: It has been decided that, on balance, she is the best person for the job despite her lack of experience.
Taking everything into consideration; all in all.