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ballast

used in a sentence
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Definition something that helps to stabilize — especially heavy material in the bottom of an empty ship

Less common senses of ballast include:   coarse gravel laid to form a bed for streets and railroads

or:

a resistor inserted into a circuit to compensate for changes (such as is used to start and regulate fluorescent bulbs)
  • Without ballast, the ship will roll too much.
  • ...she looked at the marked passages [of the manuscript] and was surprised to find that all the moral reflections—which she had carefully put in as ballast for much romance—had been stricken out.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • Sea water used as ballast.
  • So are the motions of a little vessel without ballast tossed about on a stormy sea.
    George Eliot  --  Adam Bede
  • Overnight we'd topped up our gas cells with hydrium and pumped water into our ballast and drinking tanks.
    Kenneth Oppel  --  Airborn
  • ballast = something that helps to stabilize — especially heavy material in the bottom of an empty ship
  • There was no ballast within — they were pillows upon pillows.
    Dave Eggers  --  A Hologram for the King
  • The cigars are ballast, sweetheart.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • It's made of broken amphorae that were used as ballast on ships that docked in the Tiber.
    Mark Helprin  --  A Soldier of the Great War
  • He says he feels as if he 'could make a prosperous voyage now with me aboard as mate, and lots of love for ballast'.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • They'd been little more than ballast since Storm's End, and were eager to get at the foe, confident of victory.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Clash of Kings
  • Then was the launching full of difficulty; there was shifting of ballast above and below till two thirds was submerged.
    Unknown  --  The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Woolf threw himself forward as ballast, thrusting his feet straight back.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • The ballast had been shifted too.
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • I'm using them as ballast.
    Andy Weir  --  The Martian
  • 'The Gaffer's delight, and rare good ballast for an empty belly.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Two Towers
  • Thus I saw the seventh ballast[1] change and rechange, and here let the novelty be my excuse, if my pen straggle[2] a little.
    Dante Alighieri  --  Dante's Inferno
  • So are the motions of a little vessel without ballast tossed about on a stormy sea.
    George Eliot  --  Adam Bede
  • We thought with an age limit— a reasonable one— the older heads could act as ballast while they grow up.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Tunnel In the Sky
  • Maybe they brought the stones as ballast.
    Terry Pratchett  --  Nation
  • There was a stability, a ballast, in Phillotson's pronouncement which restrained his friend's comment.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Jude the Obscure

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