ballast

A ballast is any heavy material that helps to make a ship or plane stable, including metaphorical ships like your mood. If you hate school, the thought of a weekend coming might be a ballast for your mood.

Ballast comes from old ship terminology for cargo. It came to mean the weight of the cargo that prevents the ship from rocking around on the open seas. Any craft, ship or plane, needs ballast. A weight on the bottom of a rocket might act as ballast to help it glide straight. If you’re driving in snow in a tiny tin can car, you’ll need to ballast, or add weight, to prevent the wheels from sliding around.

Primary Meanings of ballast

1.
nv
any heavy material used to stabilize a ship or airship
make steady with a ballast
2.
n
an attribute that tends to give stability in character and morals; something that steadies the mind or feelings
Full Definitions of ballast
1

n any heavy material used to stabilize a ship or airship

Type of:
material, stuff
the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object

n coarse gravel laid to form a bed for streets and railroads

Type of:
crushed rock, gravel
rock fragments and pebbles

n an electrical device for starting and regulating fluorescent and discharge lamps

Synonyms:
light ballast
Type of:
electrical device
a device that produces or is powered by electricity

n a resistor inserted into a circuit to compensate for changes (as those arising from temperature fluctuations)

Synonyms:
ballast resistor, barretter
Type of:
resistance, resistor
an electrical device that resists the flow of electrical current

v make steady with a ballast

Type of:
brace, stabilise, stabilize, steady
support or hold steady and make steadfast, with or as if with a brace
2

n an attribute that tends to give stability in character and morals; something that steadies the mind or feelings

Type of:
attribute
an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity