Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Baldness noun The state or condition of being bald; as, baldness of the head; baldness of style.

This gives to their syntax a peculiar character of simplicity and baldness .
W. D. Whitney.

Baldpate noun
1. A baldheaded person. Shak.

2. (Zoology) The American widgeon ( Anas Americana ).

Baldpate, Baldpated adjective Destitute of hair on the head; baldheaded. Shak.

Baldrib noun A piece of pork cut lower down than the sparerib, and destitute of fat. [ Eng.] Southey.

Baldric noun [ Middle English baudric , bawdrik , through Old French (cf. French baudrier and Late Latin baldringus , baldrellus ), from Old High German balderich , confer balz , palz , akin to English belt . See Belt , noun ] A broad belt, sometimes richly ornamented, worn over one shoulder, across the breast, and under the opposite arm; less properly, any belt. [ Also spelt bawdrick .]

A radiant baldric o'er his shoulder tied
Sustained the sword that glittered at his side.
Pope.

Baldwin noun (Botany) A kind of reddish, moderately acid, winter apple. [ U.S.]

Bale noun [ Middle English bale , Old French bale , French balle , Late Latin bala , from Old High German balla , palla , pallo , German ball , balle , ballen , ball, round pack; confer Dutch baal . Confer Ball a round body.] A bundle or package of goods in a cloth cover, and corded for storage or transportation; also, a bundle of straw, hay, etc., put up compactly for transportation.

Bale of dice , a pair of dice. [ Obsolete] B. Jonson.

Bale transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Baled ; present participle & verbal noun Baling .] To make up in a bale. Goldsmith.

Bale transitive verb See Bail , transitive verb , to lade.

Bale (bāl) noun [ Anglo-Saxon bealo , bealu , balu ; akin to Old Saxon balu , Old High German balo , Icelandic böl , Goth. balweins .]
1. Misery; calamity; misfortune; sorrow.

Let now your bliss be turned into bale .
Spenser.

2. Evil; an evil, pernicious influence; something causing great injury. [ Now chiefly poetic]

Balearic (băl`e*ăr"ĭk) adjective [ Latin Balearicus , from Greek baliarei^s the Balearic Islands.] Of or pertaining to the isles of Majorca, Minorca, Ivica, etc., in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Valencia.

Balearic crane . (Zoology) See Crane .

Baleen (bȧ*lēn") noun [ French baleine whale and whalebone, Latin balaena a whale; confer Greek fa`laina .] (Zoology & Com.) Plates or blades of "whalebone," from two to twelve feet long, and sometimes a foot wide, which in certain whales ( Balænoidea ) are attached side by side along the upper jaw, and form a fringelike sieve by which the food is retained in the mouth.

Balefire (bāl"fīr) noun [ Anglo-Saxon bǣlfȳr the fire of the funeral pile; bǣl fire, flame (akin to Icelandic bāl , OSlav. bēlŭ , white, Greek falo`s bright, white, Sanskrit bhāla brightness) + fȳr , English fire .] A signal fire; an alarm fire.

Sweet Teviot! on thy silver tide
The glaring balefires blaze no more.
Sir W. Scott.

Baleful (bāl"ful) adjective [ Anglo-Saxon bealoful . See Bale misery.]
1. Full of deadly or pernicious influence; destructive. " Baleful enemies." Shak.

Four infernal rivers that disgorge
Into the burning lake their baleful streams.
Milton.

2. Full of grief or sorrow; woeful; sad. [ Archaic]

Balefully adverb In a baleful manner; perniciously.

Balefulness noun The quality or state of being baleful.

Balisaur (băl"ĭ*sä`ōr) noun [ Hind.] (Zoology) A badgerlike animal of India ( Arctonyx collaris ).

Balister (băl"ĭs*tẽr or bȧ*lĭs"tẽr) noun [ Old French balestre . See Ballista .] A crossbow. [ Obsolete] Blount.

Balistoid adjective (Zoology) Like a fish of the genus Balistes ; of the family Balistidæ . See Filefish .

Balistraria noun [ Late Latin ] (Anc. Fort.) A narrow opening, often cruciform, through which arrows might be discharged. Parker.

Balize noun [ French balise ; confer Spanish balisa .] A pole or a frame raised as a sea beacon or a landmark.

Balk (bak) noun [ Anglo-Saxon balca beam, ridge; akin to Icelandic bālkr partition, bjālki beam, Old Saxon balko , German balken ; confer Gael. balc ridge of earth between two furrows. Confer Balcony , Balk , transitive verb , 3d Bulk .]
1. A ridge of land left unplowed between furrows, or at the end of a field; a piece missed by the plow slipping aside.

Bad plowmen made balks of such ground.
Fuller.

2. A great beam, rafter, or timber; esp., the tie- beam of a house. The loft above was called "the balks."

Tubs hanging in the balks .
Chaucer.

3. (Mil.) One of the beams connecting the successive supports of a trestle bridge or bateau bridge.

4. A hindrance or disappointment; a check.

A balk to the confidence of the bold undertaker.
South.

5. A sudden and obstinate stop; a failure.

6. (Baseball) A deceptive gesture of the pitcher, as if to deliver the ball.

Balk line (Billiards) , a line across a billiard table near one end, marking a limit within which the cue balls are placed in beginning a game; also, a line around the table, parallel to the sides, used in playing a particular game, called the balk line game.

Balk transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Balked (bakt); present participle & verbal noun Balking .] [ From Balk a beam; orig. to put a balk or beam in one's way, in order to stop or hinder. Confer , for sense 2, Anglo-Saxon on balcan legan to lay in heaps.]


1. To leave or make balks in. [ Obsolete] Gower.

2. To leave heaped up; to heap up in piles. [ Obsolete]

Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty knights,
Balk'd in their own blood did Sir Walter see.
Shak.

3. To omit, miss, or overlook by chance. [ Obsolete]

4. To miss intentionally; to avoid; to shun; to refuse; to let go by; to shirk. [ Obsolete or Obsolescent]

By reason of the contagion then in London, we balked the inns.
Evelyn.

Sick he is, and keeps his bed, and balks his meat.
Bp. Hall.

Nor doth he any creature balk ,
But lays on all he meeteth.
Drayton.

5. To disappoint; to frustrate; to foil; to baffle; to thwart; as, to balk expectation.

They shall not balk my entrance.
Byron.

Balk intransitive verb
1. To engage in contradiction; to be in opposition. [ Obsolete]

In strifeful terms with him to balk .
Spenser.

2. To stop abruptly and stand still obstinately; to jib; to stop short; to swerve; as, the horse balks .

» This has been regarded as an Americanism, but it occurs in Spenser's "Faërie Queene," Book IV., 10, xxv.

Ne ever ought but of their true loves talkt,
Ne ever for rebuke or blame of any balkt .

Balk intransitive verb [ Prob. from Dutch balken to bray, bawl.] To indicate to fishermen, by shouts or signals from shore, the direction taken by the shoals of herring.

Balker noun [ See 2d Balk .] One who, or that which, balks.

Balker noun [ See last Balk .] A person who stands on a rock or eminence to espy the shoals of herring, etc., and to give notice to the men in boats which way they pass; a conder; a huer.

Balkingly adverb In a manner to balk or frustrate.

Balkish adjective Uneven; ridgy. [ R.] Holinshed.

Balky (bak"ȳ) adjective Apt to balk; as, a balky horse.

Ball (bal) noun [ Middle English bal , balle ; akin to Old High German balla , palla , German ball , Icelandic böllr , ball; confer French balle . Confer 1st Bale , noun , Pallmall .]
1. Any round or roundish body or mass; a sphere or globe; as, a ball of twine; a ball of snow.

2. A spherical body of any substance or size used to play with, as by throwing, knocking, kicking, etc.

3. A general name for games in which a ball is thrown, kicked, or knocked. See Baseball , and Football .

4. Any solid spherical, cylindrical, or conical projectile of lead or iron, to be discharged from a firearm; as, a cannon ball ; a rifle ball ; -- often used collectively; as, powder and ball . Spherical balls for the smaller firearms are commonly called bullets .

5. (Pyrotechnics & Mil.) A flaming, roundish body shot into the air; a case filled with combustibles intended to burst and give light or set fire, or to produce smoke or stench; as, a fire ball ; a stink ball .

6. (Print.) A leather-covered cushion, fastened to a handle called a ballstock ; -- formerly used by printers for inking the form, but now superseded by the roller.

7. A roundish protuberant portion of some part of the body; as, the ball of the thumb; the ball of the foot.

8. (Far.) A large pill, a form in which medicine is commonly given to horses; a bolus. White.

9. The globe or earth. Pope.

Move round the dark terrestrial ball .
Addison.

Ball and socket joint , a joint in which a ball moves within a socket, so as to admit of motion in every direction within certain limits. -- Ball bearings , a mechanical device for lessening the friction of axle bearings by means of small loose metal balls. -- Ball cartridge , a cartridge containing a ball, as distinguished from a blank cartridge, containing only powder. -- Ball cock , a faucet or valve which is opened or closed by the fall or rise of a ball floating in water at the end of a lever. -- Ball gudgeon , a pivot of a spherical form, which permits lateral deflection of the arbor or shaft, while retaining the pivot in its socket. Knight. -- Ball lever , the lever used in a ball cock. -- Ball of the eye , the eye itself, as distinguished from its lids and socket; -- formerly, the pupil of the eye. -- Ball valve (Machinery) , a contrivance by which a ball, placed in a circular cup with a hole in its bottom, operates as a valve. -- Ball vein (Mining) , a sort of iron ore, found in loose masses of a globular form, containing sparkling particles. -- Three balls , or Three golden balls , a pawnbroker's sign or shop.

Syn. -- See Globe .

Ball intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Balled (bald); present participle & verbal noun Balling .] To gather balls which cling to the feet, as of damp snow or clay; to gather into balls; as, the horse balls ; the snow balls .

Ball transitive verb
1. (Metal.) To heat in a furnace and form into balls for rolling.

2. To form or wind into a ball; as, to ball cotton.

Ball noun [ French bal , from Old French baler to dance, from Late Latin ballare . Of uncertain origin; confer Greek ba`llein to toss or throw, or pa`llein , pa`llesqai , to leap, bound, balli`zein to dance, jump about; or confer 1st Ball , noun ] A social assembly for the purpose of dancing.

Ball noun (Baseball) A pitched ball, not struck at by the batsman, which fails to pass over the home base at a height not greater than the batsman's shoulder nor less than his knee.

Ballad noun [ Middle English balade , Old French balade , French ballade , from Pr. ballada a dancing song, from ballare to dance; confer Italian ballata . See 2d Ball , noun , and Ballet .] A popular kind of narrative poem, adapted for recitation or singing; as, the ballad of Chevy Chase; esp., a sentimental or romantic poem in short stanzas.

Ballad intransitive verb To make or sing ballads. [ Obsolete]

Ballad transitive verb To make mention of in ballads. [ Obsolete]

Ballad monger [ See Monger .] A seller or maker of ballads; a poetaster. Shak.

Ballade noun [ See Ballad , noun ] A form of French versification, sometimes imitated in English, in which three or four rhymes recur through three stanzas of eight or ten lines each, the stanzas concluding with a refrain, and the whole poem with an envoy.

Ballader noun A writer of ballads.

Balladry noun [ From Ballad , noun ] Ballad poems; the subject or style of ballads. "Base balladry is so beloved." Drayton.

Ballahoo, Ballahou (băl"lȧ*hō) noun A fast-sailing schooner, used in the Bermudas and West Indies.

Ballarag (-răg) transitive verb [ Corrupted from bullirag .] To bully; to threaten. [ Low] T. Warton.

Ballast (băl"l a st) noun [ Dutch ballast ; akin to Danish baglast , ballast , OSw. barlast , Swedish ballast . The first part is perhaps the same word as English bare , adj.; the second is last a burden, and hence the meaning a bare , or mere , load . See Bare , adjective , and Last load.]
1. (Nautical) Any heavy substance, as stone, iron, etc., put into the hold to sink a vessel in the water to such a depth as to prevent capsizing.

2. Any heavy matter put into the car of a balloon to give it steadiness.

3. Gravel, broken stone, etc., laid in the bed of a railroad to make it firm and solid.

4. The larger solids, as broken stone or gravel, used in making concrete.

5. Fig.: That which gives, or helps to maintain, uprightness, steadiness, and security.

It [ piety] is the right ballast of prosperity.
Barrow.

Ballast engine , a steam engine used in excavating and for digging and raising stones and gravel for ballast. -- Ship in ballast , a ship carrying only ballast.

Ballast transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Ballasted ; present participle & verbal noun 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.
Hammond.

Ballastage noun (Law) A toll paid for the privilege of taking up ballast in a port or harbor.

Ballasting noun That which is used for steadying anything; ballast.

Ballatry noun See Balladry . [ Obsolete] Milton.

Ballet (băl"la` or băl"lĕt; 277) noun [ French, a dim. of bal dance. See 2d Ball , noun ]
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 madrigal composers.

4. (Her.) A bearing in coats of arms, representing one or more balls, which are denominated bezants, plates, etc., according to color.