ballast meaning

Pronunciation:   "ballast" in a sentence
  • Noun: ballast  balust
    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)
      - ballast resistor, barretter 
    5. An electrical device for starting and regulating fluorescent and discharge lamps
      - light ballast
    Verb: ballast  balust
    1. Make steady with a ballast

    Derived forms: ballasting, ballasts, ballasted

    Type of: attribute, brace, crushed rock, electrical device, gravel, material, resistance, resistor, stabilise [Brit], stabilize, steady, stuff

    Encyclopedia: Ballast

  • [Architecture]

    Coarse stone, gravel, slag, etc., used as an underlayer for poured concrete.


    A device used to provide the required starting voltage and operating current for fluorescent, mercury, or other electric-discharge lamps.


    Class P: A ballast for a fluorescent lamp which meets the requirements of the Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc.; includes an automatic resetting thermal protector to remove the ballast from the circuit if its temperature exceeds a specified value.


    Same as constant-wattage ballast.

  • [Electronics]
    1. A component that is used to stabilize the current flow through, or operation of, a circuit, stage, or device.
    2. An iron-core choke connected in series with one of the electrodes in a fluorescent or other gas-discharge lamp.


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  1. arc lamps require a current-limiting ballast.
  2. the rail beds well on the ballast.
  3. he furnished psychological ballast to a desperate president.
  4. the rails of the two tracks are supported on wooden ties resting on a ballast.
  5. so are the motions of a little vessel without ballast tossed about on a stormy sea.

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PC Version