If you have poise, you are cool under stress. People with poise can handle pressure without showing it.
If you’re calm while singing the national anthem in front of thirty million people, you’ve got a lot of poise. This is a rare quality people admire. Another meaning is to brace yourself for something difficult, as in: when you hear about a tornado, you're poised for more bad news. You can also be poised as in "on the brink" of something. If you stand on the diving board it could be said you’re poised to take the plunge.
Primary Meanings of poise
hold or carry in equilibrium
a state of being balanced in a stable equilibrium
a cgs unit of dynamic viscosity equal to one dyne-second per square centimeter; the viscosity of a fluid in which a force of one dyne per square centimeter maintains a velocity of 1 centimeter per second
v be motionless, in suspension
- Type of:
hang in the air; fly or be suspended above