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1

ballast

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noun bal·last \ˈba-ləst\

Simple Definition of ballast

  • : heavy material (such as rocks or water) that is put on a ship to make it steady or on a balloon to control its height in the air

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ballast

  1. 1 :  a heavy substance placed in such a way as to improve stability and control (as of the draft of a ship or the buoyancy of a balloon or submarine)

  2. 2 :  something that gives stability (as in character or conduct)

  3. 3 :  gravel or broken stone laid in a railroad bed or used in making concrete

  4. 4 :  a device used to provide the starting voltage or to stabilize the current in a circuit (as of a fluorescent lamp)

in ballast

  1. of a ship :  having only ballast for a load

Origin and Etymology of ballast

probably from Low German, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Dan & Swedish barlast ballast; perhaps akin to Old English bær bare & to Old English hlæst load, hladan to load — more at lade


First Known Use: 1530

Other Civil Engineering Terms


2

ballast

verb bal·last

Definition of ballast

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to steady or equip with or as if with ballast

  3. 2 :  to fill in (as a railroad bed) with ballast



1538

First Known Use of ballast

1538

Rhymes with ballast


BALLAST Defined for Kids

ballast

play
noun bal·last \ˈba-ləst\

Definition of ballast for Students

  1. 1 :  heavy material used to make a ship steady or to control the rising of a balloon

  2. 2 :  gravel or broken stone laid in a foundation for a railroad or used in making concrete





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