Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A ceiling of boards overhead in a mining-drift, designed to protect the men when at work from falling rocks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mining) An arch, or ceiling, of boards, placed over the men's heads in a mine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun mining An arch or ceiling of boards placed above the workers' heads in a mine.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English astelle piece of wood, Old French astele splinter, shaving, French attelle, astelle: compare Latin astula, diminutive of assis board.

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