ballast

[bal-uh st]

noun

verb (used with object)

to furnish with ballast: to ballast a ship.
to give steadiness to; keep steady: parental responsibilities that ballast a person.

Idioms

    in ballast, Nautical. carrying only ballast; carrying no cargo.

Origin of ballast

1450–1500; < Middle Low German, perhaps ultimately < Scandinavian; compare Old Danish, Old Swedish barlast, equivalent to bar bare1 + last load; see last4
Related formsbal·last·er, nounbal·last·ic [buh-las-tik] /bəˈlæs tɪk/, adjectiveo·ver·bal·last, verb (used with object)sub·bal·last, nounun·der·bal·last, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ballasted


British Dictionary definitions for ballasted

ballast

noun

any dense heavy material, such as lead or iron pigs, used to stabilize a vessel, esp one that is not carrying cargo
crushed rock, broken stone, etc, used for the foundation of a road or railway track
coarse aggregate of sandy gravel, used in making concrete
anything that provides stability or weight
electronics a device for maintaining the current in a circuit

verb (tr)

to give stability or weight to

Word Origin for ballast

C16: probably from Low German; related to Old Danish, Old Swedish barlast, literally: bare load (without commercial value), from bar bare, mere + last load, burden
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ballasted

ballast

n.

"heavy material used to steady a ship," 1520s, from Middle English bar "bare" (see bare; in this case "mere") + last "a load, burden," or borrowed from identical terms in North Sea Germanic and Scandinavian (cf. Old Danish barlast, 14c.). "Mere" because not carried for commercial purposes. Dutch balg-last "ballast," literally "belly-load," is a folk-etymology corruption.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper