Meaning of BALLAST in English

BALLAST

I. ˈba-ləst noun

Etymology: 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

Date: 1530

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

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

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

- in ballast

II. transitive verb

Date: 1538

1. : to steady or equip with or as if with ballast

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

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.