Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The open space in a floor, to accommodate a staircase.
  • n. The open space left beyond the ends of the steps of a staircase.
  • n. A cavity which receives a counterbalancing weight in certain mechanical contrivances, and is adapted also for other purposes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. The open space in a floor, to accommodate a staircase.
  • n. The open space left beyond the ends of the steps of a staircase.
  • n. A cavity which receives a counterbalancing weight in certain mechanical contrivances, and is adapted also for other purposes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A deep, narrow, perpendicular cavity, as the space from top to bottom of a house round which stairs turn; also, an inclosure in which a balancing-weight rises and falls, etc.
  • n. The well-room of a boat.

Etymologies

well +‎ hole (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In such a chamber they made a little fireplace, its chimney running up on one side of the wellhole by which the chamber was entered.

    Canyons of the Colorado

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