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.

Definitions of ballast
  1. noun
    any heavy material used to stabilize a ship or airship
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    type of:
    material, stuff
    the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object
  2. noun
    coarse gravel laid to form a bed for streets and railroads
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    type of:
    crushed rock, gravel
    rock fragments and pebbles
  3. noun
    an electrical device for starting and regulating fluorescent and discharge lamps
    synonyms: light ballast
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    type of:
    electrical device
    a device that produces or is powered by electricity
  4. noun
    a resistor inserted into a circuit to compensate for changes (as those arising from temperature fluctuations)
    synonyms: ballast resistor, barretter
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    type of:
    resistance, resistor
    an electrical device that resists the flow of electrical current
  5. verb
    make steady with a ballast
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    type of:
    brace, stabilise, stabilize, steady
    support or hold steady and make steadfast, with or as if with a brace
  6. noun
    an attribute that tends to give stability in character and morals; something that steadies the mind or feelings
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    type of:
    attribute
    an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity
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