1

ballast

play
noun bal·last \ˈba-ləst\

Definition of ballast

  1. 1 :  a heavy substance (such as rocks or water) 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) tossed several tons of ballast overboard

  2. 2 :  something that gives stability (as in character or conduct) She provided the ballast we needed during stressful times.

  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 Danish & Swedish barlast ballast; perhaps akin to Old English bær bare & to Old English hlæst load, hladan to load — more at lade


First Known Use: 15th century

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 They ballast the canoe with large rocks.

  3. 2 :  to fill in (something, such as a railroad bed) with ballast (see 1ballast 3)

Origin and Etymology of ballast

see 1ballast


First Known Use: 1538


BALLAST Defined for English Language Learners

1

ballast

play
noun bal·last \ˈba-ləst\

Definition of ballast for English Language Learners

  • : 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


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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