[ bal-uhst ]
/ ˈbæl əst /
Save This Word!
Nautical. any heavy material carried temporarily or permanently in a vessel to provide desired draft and stability.
Aeronautics. something heavy, as bags of sand, placed in the car of a balloon for control of altitude and, less often, of attitude, or placed in an aircraft to control the position of the center of gravity.
anything that gives mental, moral, or political stability or steadiness: the ballast of a steady income.
gravel, broken stone, slag, etc., placed between and under the ties of a railroad to give stability, provide drainage, and distribute loads.
- Also called ballast resistor . a device, often a resistor, that maintains the current in a circuit at a constant value by varying its resistance in order to counteract changes in voltage.
- a device that maintains the current through a fluorescent or mercury lamp at the desired constant value, sometimes also providing the necessary starting voltage and current.
verb (used with object)
to furnish with ballast: to ballast a ship.
to give steadiness to; keep steady: parental responsibilities that ballast a person.
CAN YOU ANSWER THESE COMMON GRAMMAR DEBATES?
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?
Idioms about ballast
in ballast, Nautical. carrying only ballast; carrying no cargo.
Origin of ballast
OTHER WORDS FROM ballast
bal·last·er, nounbal·last·ic [buh-las-tik], /bəˈlæs tɪk/, adjectiveo·ver·bal·last, verb (used with object)sub·bal·last, noun
un·der·bal·last, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ballast in a sentence
She ballasted the boat, and for Bompard she was something to lean against.The Beach of Dreams|H. De Vere Stacpoole
She had been literally ballasted with silver, and carried also several precious boxes of gold and jewels.The Ontario Readers: Fourth Book|Various
His corpulency would always be hinting to you that he was too trimly built, too well ballasted, to be in danger.The Silver Poppy|Arthur Stringer
By being properly ballasted, a boat can pass either through or over a sea without being driven astern.
As the boat must be well ballasted, she must have limited breadth of beam, as also limited side buoyancy.
British Dictionary definitions for ballast
/ (ˈbæləst) /
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
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