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Meaning of Ballst

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  • Heavy material that is placed in the hold of a ship (or in the gondola of a balloon), to provide stability
  • Coarse gravel or similar material laid to form a bed for roads or railroads
  • To stabilize or load a ship with ballast
  • To lay ballast on the bed of a railroad track

- The Nuttall Encyclopedia

Bal"last (băl"last), n. [D. ballast; akin to Dan. baglast, ballast, OSw. barlast, Sw. ballast. The first part is perh. the same word as E. bare, adj.; the second is last a burden, and hence the meaning a bare, or mere, load. See Bare, a., and Last load.] 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.

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.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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