What does ballast mean?

Definitions for ballast
ˈbæl əstbal·last

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word ballast.

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 (e.g.in 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

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ballast

    bal′last, n. heavy matter employed to give a ship sufficient immersion in the water, to insure her safe sailing with spread canvas, when her cargo and equipment are too light: that which renders anything steady.—v.t. to load with ballast: to make or keep steady: (Shak.) load.—n. Bal′last-heav′er. [Probably the Old Sw. barlastbar, bare, and last, load, the mere load.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. ballast

    A certain portion of stone, pig-iron, gravel, water, or such like materials, deposited in a ship's hold when she either has no cargo or too little to bring her sufficiently low in the water. It is used to counter-balance the effect of the wind upon the masts, and give the ship a proper stability, that she may be enabled to carry sail without danger of overturning. The art of ballasting consists in placing the centre of gravity, so as neither to be too high nor too low, too far forward nor too far aft, and that the surface of the water may nearly rise to the extreme breadth amidships, and thus the ship will be enabled to carry a good sail, incline but little, and ply well to windward. A want of true knowledge in this department has led to putting too great a weight in ships' bottoms, which impedes their sailing and endangers their masts by excessive rolling, the consequence of bringing the centre of gravity too low. It should be trimmed with due regard to the capacity, gravity, and flooring, and to the nature of whatever is to be deposited thereon. (See TRIM.)

  2. ballast

    As a verb, signifies to steady;--as a substantive, a comprehensive mind. A man is said to "lose his ballast" when his judgment fails him, or he becomes top-heavy from conceit.

How to pronounce ballast?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say ballast in sign language?

  1. ballast


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ballast in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ballast in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of ballast in a Sentence

  1. Mona Charen:

    Just hearing the words you know are true can serve as ballast, steadying your mind when so much seems unreal.

  2. Eddy Vataru:

    It's common for folks to look at bonds as a ballast at times when stocks aren't doing as well, for the average investor, fixed income can serve an important function.

  3. Henry David Thoreau:

    Must be out-of-doors enough to get experience of wholesome reality, as a ballast to thought and sentiment. Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life

  4. William Penn:

    Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast.

  5. State Councillor Wang Yi:

    As long as China and the United States proactively meet each other halfway, then trade and economic cooperation can still play a role as a ballast stone in Sino-U.S. ties.

Images & Illustrations of ballast

  1. ballastballastballastballastballast

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Translations for ballast

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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