1. Naut. 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. Any heavy matter put into the car of a balloon to give it steadiness.
3. Gravel, broken stone, etc., laid in the bed of a railroad to make it firm and solid.
4. The larger solids, as broken stone or gravel, used in making concrete.
5. Fig.: That which gives, or helps to maintain, uprightness, steadiness, and security.
It [piety] is the right ballast of prosperity. --Barrow.
Ballast engine, a steam engine used in excavating and for digging and raising stones and gravel for ballast.
Ship in ballast, a ship carrying only ballast.
Bal·last, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ballasted; p. pr. & vb. n. Ballasting.]
1. To steady, as a vessel, by putting heavy substances in the hold.
2. To fill in, as the bed of a railroad, with gravel, stone, etc., in order to make it firm and solid.
3. To keep steady; to steady, morally.
'T is charity must ballast the heart. --Hammond.
n 1: any heavy material used to stabilize a ship or airship
2: coarse gravel laid to form a bed for streets and railroads
3: an attribute that tends to give stability in character and
morals; something that steadies the mind or feelings
4: a resistor inserted into a circuit to compensate for changes
(as those arising from temperature fluctuations) [syn: ballast
5: an electrical device for starting and regulating fluorescent
and discharge lamps [syn: light ballast]
v : make steady with a ballast