Meaning of BALLAST in English



Pronunciation: ' ba-l ə st

Function: 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

of a ship : having only ballast for a load

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.