Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An almost horizontal entrance to a mine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A horizontal or nearly horizontal passage from the surface into a mine as contrasted to a shaft which is a vertical entry passage. An adit may be used for ventilation, haulage, drainage, or other purposes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An entrance or passage. Specifically: The nearly horizontal opening by which a mine is entered, or by which water and ores are carried away; -- called also drift and tunnel.
  • n. Admission; approach; access.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An entrance or a passage; specifically, in mining, a nearly horizontal excavation, or drift (which see), specially used to conduct from the interior to the surface the water which either comes into the workings from above or is pumped up from below.
  • n. Milit., a passage under ground by which miners approach the part they intend to sap. Wilhelm, Mil. Diet. Admission; access; approach.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a nearly horizontal passage from the surface into a mine

Etymologies

Latin aditus, access, from past participle of adīre, to approach : ad-, ad- + īre, to go.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin aditus ‘entrance, access’, from ad + itus. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "To the north were the mines themselves: dangerous, undershored scratch drifts that went down fifty feet or so and then spread like fingers clutching for gold and silver and copper and the occasional nest of firedims. From the outside they were just holes punched into the bare and rocky earth, holes like staring eyes, each with its own pile of till and scrapings beside the adit." From Wizard and Glass by Stephen King

    January 28, 2011