- An example of ballast for some people is their belief in God.
- An example of ballast on a boat is gravel used to balance or make the boat stable.
- An example of ballast is bags of sand in a hot air balloon.
- anything heavy carried in a ship, aircraft, or vehicle to give stability or in a balloon or airship to help control altitude
- anything giving stability and firmness to character, human relations, etc.
- crushed rock or gravel, as that placed between and below railroad ties
- an electrical device used to supply and regulate electricity in fluorescent lamps, mercury-vapor lamps, etc.
Origin of ballastLow German ; from Middle Dutch ; from bal, bad, useless (akin to Old English bealu, bale) + last, a load
- to furnish with ballast; stabilize
- to fill in (a railroad bed) with ballast
- Heavy material that is placed in the hold of a ship or the gondola of a balloon to enhance stability.
- a. Coarse gravel or crushed rock laid to form a bed for roads or railroads.b. The gravel ingredient of concrete.
- Something that gives stability, especially in character.
transitive verbbal·last·ed, bal·last·ing, bal·lasts
- To stabilize or provide with ballast.
- To fill (a railroad bed) with or as if with ballast.
Origin of ballastPerhaps from Old Swedish or Old Danish barlast : bar, mere, bare; see bhoso- in Indo-European roots + last, load.
(usually uncountable, plural ballasts)
- (nautical) Heavy material that is placed in the hold of a ship (in the gondola of a balloon), to provide stability.
- (figuratively) Anything that steadies emotion or the mind.
- Coarse gravel or similar material laid to form a bed for roads or railroads, or in making concrete.
- (construction) A material, such as aggregate or precast concrete pavers, which employs its mass and the force of gravity to hold single-ply roof membranes in place.
- (countable, electronics) device used for stabilizing current in an electric circuit (e.g.in a tube lamp supply circuit)
- (figuratively) That which gives, or helps to maintain, uprightness, steadiness, and security.
(third-person singular simple present ballasts, present participle ballasting, simple past and past participle ballasted)