Definitions for ballastˈbæl əst

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ballast

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

bal•lastˈbæl əst(n.)

  1. a heavy material carried on a vessel to control draft and stability or a balloon to control altitude.

    Category: Nautical

  2. gravel or broken stone placed under the ties of a railroad.

    Category: Railroads

  3. a device that maintains the current in an electric circuit at a constant value and may also provide the starting voltage, as in a fluorescent lamp.

    Category: Electricity and Magnetism

  4. (v.t.)to furnish with ballast.

    Category: Nautical, Navy

Origin of ballast:

1520–30; < MLG, perh. ult. < Scand; cf. early Dan and Sw barlast=barbare1+last load


Princeton's WordNet

  1. ballast(noun)

    any heavy material used to stabilize a ship or airship

  2. ballast(noun)

    coarse gravel laid to form a bed for streets and railroads

  3. ballast(noun)

    an attribute that tends to give stability in character and morals; something that steadies the mind or feelings

  4. ballast resistor, ballast, barretter(noun)

    a resistor inserted into a circuit to compensate for changes (as those arising from temperature fluctuations)

  5. ballast, light ballast(verb)

    an electrical device for starting and regulating fluorescent and discharge lamps

  6. ballast(verb)

    make steady with a ballast


  1. ballast(Noun)

    Heavy material that is placed in the hold of a ship (or in the gondola of a balloon), to provide stability.

  2. ballast(Noun)

    Anything that steadies emotion or the mind.

  3. ballast(Noun)

    Coarse gravel or similar material laid to form a bed for roads or railroads.

  4. ballast(Noun)

    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.

  5. ballast(Noun)

    device used for stabilizing current in an electric circuit ( a tube lamp supply circuit)

  6. ballast(Verb)

    To stabilize or load a ship with ballast.

  7. ballast(Verb)

    To lay ballast on the bed of a railroad track.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ballast(adj)

    any heavy substance, as stone, iron, etc., put into the hold to sink a vessel in the water to such a depth as to prevent capsizing

  2. Ballast(adj)

    any heavy matter put into the car of a balloon to give it steadiness

  3. Ballast(adj)

    gravel, broken stone, etc., laid in the bed of a railroad to make it firm and solid

  4. Ballast(adj)

    the larger solids, as broken stone or gravel, used in making concrete

  5. Ballast(adj)

    fig.: That which gives, or helps to maintain, uprightness, steadiness, and security

  6. Ballast(verb)

    to steady, as a vessel, by putting heavy substances in the hold

  7. Ballast(verb)

    to fill in, as the bed of a railroad, with gravel, stone, etc., in order to make it firm and solid

  8. Ballast(verb)

    to keep steady; to steady, morally


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