• synonyms


noun Nautical.
  1. pig iron used as permanent ballast.
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Origin of kentledge

First recorded in 1600–10; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kentledge

Historical Examples

  • She is ballasted with utilities; not altogether with unusable pig-lead and kentledge.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale

    Herman Melville

  • I think you had better speak to Captain Kentledge on the subject.

    Pencil Sketches

    Eliza Leslie

  • The ward-room was then scuttled to get at the kentledge, twelve tons of which were thrown overboard.

  • Kentledge, kent′lej, n. pig-iron laid in a ship's hold for ballast.

  • My breast has felt the last four-and-twenty hours as if a ton of kentledge had been stowed in it.

    The Pathfinder

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for kentledge


  1. nautical scrap metal used as ballast in a vessel
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Word Origin

C17: perhaps from Old French quintelage ballast, from quintal hundredweight, ultimately from Arabic qintār; see kantar
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