ballast

[ bal-uh st ]
/ ˈbæl əst /
||

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.

Nearby words

  1. ballantyne,
  2. ballarat,
  3. ballard,
  4. ballardian,
  5. ballas,
  6. ballast line,
  7. ballast pocket,
  8. ballast resistor,
  9. ballata,
  10. ballbreaker

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 forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ballaster



British Dictionary definitions for ballaster

ballast

/ (ˈbæləst) /

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 ballaster

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