Dictionary: BAL-IS'TER – BAL'LAST-ED

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BAL-IS'TER, n. [L. balista, from Gr. βαλλω, to throw.]

A cross-bow. – Blount.

BA-LIZE', n. [Fr. balise; Sp. valiza, a beacon.]

A sea-mark; a pole raised on a bank.

BALK, n. [bauk; Sax. balc; W. balc, a ridge between furrows; balc, prominent, swelling, proud; said to be from bal, a prominence; bala, eruption; balau, to shoot, spring or drive out.]

  1. A ridge of land, left unplowed, between furrows, or at the end of a field.
  2. A great beam, or rafter. [G. balken; D. balk.]
  3. Any thing left untouched, like a ridge in plowing. – Spenser.
  4. A frustration; disappointment. – South.

BALK, v.t. [bauk.]

  1. To disappoint; to frustrate. – Locke.
  2. To leave untouched; to miss or omit. – Drayton.
  3. To pile, as in a heap or ridge. – Shak.
  4. To turn aside; to talk beside one's meaning. [Obs.] – Spenser.
  5. To plow, leaving balks.

BALK'ED, pp.

  1. Plowed in ridges between furrows, as in American husbandry.
  2. Frustrated; disappointed.


One who balks. In fishery, balkers are persons who stand on rocks and eminences to espy the sholes of herring, and to give notice to the men in boats, which way they pass. – Encyc. Cowel.

BALK'ING, ppr.

Plowing in ridges; frustrating.


In a manner to balk or frustrate.

BALL, n.1 [G. ball; D. bal; Sw. ball; Dan. ballon; Russ. bal; Sp. bala, bola; It. palla; L. pila; W. pêl, pellen; Arm. bolat; Fr. balle, boule. A ball may signify a mass from collecting, or it may be that which is driven, from the root of L. pello; probably the former.]

  1. A round body; spherical substance, whether natural or artificial; or a body nearly round; as, a ball for play; a ball of thread; a ball of snow.
  2. A bullet; a ball of iron or lead for cannon, muskets, &c.
  3. A printer's ball, consisting of hair or wool, covered with leather or skin, and fastened to a stock, called a ball-stock, and used to put ink on the types in the forms.
  4. The globe or earth, from its figure.
  5. A globe borne as ensign of authority; as, to hold the ball of a kingdom. – Bacon.
  6. Any part of the body that is round or protuberant; as, the eye ball; the ball of the thumb or foot.
  7. The weight at the bottom of a pendulum.
  8. Among the Cornish miners in England, a tin mine.
  9. In pyrotechnics, a composition of combustible ingredients, which serve to burn, smoke or give light. Ball-stock, among printers, a stock somewhat hollow at one end, to which balls of skin, stuffed with wool, are fastened, and which serves as a handle. Ball-vein, among miners, a sort of iron ore, found in loose masses, of a circular form, containing sparkling particles. – Encyc. Ball and socket, an instrument used in surveying and astronomy, made of brass, with a perpetual screw, to move horizontally, obliquely, or vertically. Puff-ball, in botany, the Lycoperdon, a genus of funguses. Fire-ball, a meteor; a luminous globe darting through the atmosphere; also, a bag of canvas filled with gunpowder, sulphur, pitch, saltpeter, &c., to be thrown by the hand, or from mortars, to set fire to houses.

BALL, n.2 [Fr. bal; It. ballo; Sp. bayle, a dance; It. ballare, to dance, to shake; Gr. βαλλω, to toss or throw; or παλλω, to leap.]

An entertainment of dancing; originally and peculiarly, at the invitation and expense of an individual; but the word, is used in America, for a dance at the expense of the attendants.

BALL, v.i.

To form into a ball, as snow on horses' hoofs, or on the feet. We say the horse balls, or the snow balls.

BAL'LAD, n. [It. ballata, a ball, a dance, a ballad; Fr. ballade, a song, and baladin, a dancer. See Ball.]

A song; originally a solemn song of praise; but new a meaner kind of popular song. – Watts.

BAL'LAD, v.i.

To make or sing ballads. – Shak.


A writer of ballads. – Overbury.


A maker or composer of ballads. – Shak.

BAL'LAD-MONG-ER, n. [See Monger.]

A dealer in writing ballads. – Shak.


The subject or style of ballads. – B. Jonson.


One whose employment is to sing ballads.


The air or manner of a ballad.


The tune of a ballad. – Warton.


A composer of ballads. – Warton.

BAL'LA-RAG, v.t.

To bully; to threaten. [Not in use.] – Warton.

BAL'LAST, n. [Sax. bat, a boat, with last, a load; D. Ger. and Dan. last; W. llwyth; Arm. lastr, a load; bat-last, boat-load, corrupted into ballast; Russ. ballast; Fr. lest; Sp. lastre; Sax. hlæstan, to load a ship.]

  1. Heavy matter, as stone, sand or iron, laid on the bottom of a ship or other vessel, to sink it in the water to such a depth, as to enable it to carry sufficient sail, without oversetting. Shingle ballast, is ballast of coarse gravel. – Mar. Dict.
  2. Figuratively, that which is used to make a thing steady. – Swift.

BAL'LAST, v.t.

  1. To place heavy substances on the bottom of a ship or vessel, to keep it from oversetting.
  2. To keep any thing steady, by counterbalancing its force. – Dryden.


Furnished with ballast; kept steady by a counterpoising force.