Ballast

Noun

  • (nautical) Heavy material that is placed in the hold of a ship (or in the gondola of a balloon), to provide stability.
  • (construction) 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.
  • Coarse gravel or similar material laid to form a bed for roads or railroads, or in making concrete.
  • (figuratively) That which gives, or helps to maintain, uprightness, steadiness, and security.
  • (figuratively) Anything that steadies emotion or the mind.
  • (countable, electronics) device used for stabilizing current in an electric circuit (e.g.in a tube lamp supply circuit)

Verb

  • To stabilize or load a ship with ballast.
  • To lay ballast on the bed of a railroad track.

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