from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A hole, usually with a cover, through which a person may enter a sewer, boiler, drain, or similar structure.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A hole in the ground used to access the sewers or other underground vaults and installations.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A hole through which a man may descend or creep into a drain, sewer, steam boiler, parts of machinery, etc., for cleaning or repairing.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To enter or use a manhole, as for the purpose of examining or repairing machinery.
- n. A hole through which a man may enter a sewer, drain, cesspool, or the like, for cleaning or repairing; in steam-boilers, hot-water tanks, keirs, etc., a hole formed in the shell, through which a man may enter to the interior for cleaning, inspection, or repairs.
- n. In coal-mining: An excavation or refuge-hole made in the side of an underground engine-plane or horse-road. [Eng.] A small and generally short passage used for the ingress and egress of the miners. [Pennsylvania anthracite, region.] A niche cut in the side of a railroad-tunnel as a refuge-hole.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a hole (usually with a flush cover) through which a person can gain access to an underground structure
Likewise, I am not convinced that manhole is better off as personhole.
Smoke machines and loudspeakers, carefully hidden in manhole covers throughout Manhattan, completed the breathtakingly convincing display.
So manhole is more acceptable to me than spokesman because manholes aren’t people.
The manhole was a hundred and twenty feet east of the southern curb of Fuller in the center of the street—hence the designation “120´ESC-CENT”—just opposite the bronze statue of John G. Fuller, the noted balloonist.
A: A manhole is a vertical pipe that runs from an underground utility main to the surface to give workers access for maintenance.
He recalled a manhole explosion where a police detail saved the life of a 23-year-old trapped worker.
The manhole was the mouth of a long tube that led down to hell, and there were other demons like him there.
Just as discrimination is more than a change in vocabulary and the futility of wondering whether we should change "manhole" to...er..."personhole"?
A new series of Qi has started, as funny as ever and possibly slightly ruder than before -- after this I'm never going to be able to hear the word "manhole" with anything like quiet innocence again.
Some fittings may be damaged or have disappeared, especially metallic ones such as manhole covers, inlet screens and grilles, which may have been stolen and sold as scrap metal.