(Bal"last), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ballasted; p. pr. & vb. n. Ballasting.]
1. To steady, as a vessel, by putting heavy substances in the hold.
2. To fill in, as the bed of a railroad, with gravel, stone, etc., in order to make it firm and solid.
3. To keep steady; to steady, morally.
'T is charity must ballast the heart.
(Bal"last*age) n. (Law) A toll paid for the privilege of taking up ballast in a port or harbor.
(Bal"last*ing), n. That which is used for steadying anything; ballast.
(Bal"la*try) n. See Balladry. [Obs.] Milton.
(||Bal"let`) (bal"la` or bal"let; 277), n. [F., a dim. of bal dance. See 2d Ball, n.]
1. An artistic dance performed as a theatrical entertainment, or an interlude, by a number of persons,
usually women. Sometimes, a scene accompanied by pantomime and dancing.
2. The company of persons who perform the ballet.
3. (Mus.) A light part song, or madrigal, with a fa la burden or chorus, most common with the Elizabethan
4. (Her.) A bearing in coats of arms, representing one or more balls, which are denominated bezants,
plates, etc., according to color.
(Ball"-flow`er) n. (Arch.) An ornament resembling a ball placed in a circular flower, the
petals of which form a cup round it, usually inserted in a hollow molding.
(||Bal*lis"ta) n.; pl. Ballistæ [L. ballista, balista, fr. Gr. ballein to throw.] An ancient military
engine, in the form of a crossbow, used for hurling large missiles.
(Bal"lis*ter) (bal"lis*ter or bal*lis"ter), n. [L. ballista. Cf. Balister.] A crossbow. [Obs.]
1. Of or pertaining to the ballista, or to the art of hurling stones or missile weapons by means of an
2. Pertaining to projection, or to a projectile.
Ballistic pendulum, an instrument consisting of a mass of wood or other material suspended as a
pendulum, for measuring the force and velocity of projectiles by means of the arc through which their
impact impels it.