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[man-hohl] /ˈmænˌhoʊl/
a hole, usually with a cover, through which a person may enter a sewer, drain, steam boiler, etc., especially one located in a city street.
Origin of manhole
1785-95; man1 + hole Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for manhole
  • We join them at a manhole beneath an ivy-covered embankment.
  • Suggest a manhole, and he'd plummet straight down it.
  • Drainage gratings and manhole covers are upended, posing hazards to drivers.
  • Metal recyclers do not steal manhole covers for profit.
  • They're reproductions of some of the world's great manhole covers.
  • You'd never put a manhole cover on the hole when someone's in there.
  • As a result, gas and electric companies produced their own manhole cover designs, and many original covers are still in place.
  • The steam billowing up around the manhole cover in the street is a dead giveaway.
  • Cities and counties are battling manhole-cover thefts, a crime spree that police tie to the weak economy.
  • Streets in downtown were covered with water and several manhole covers popped off.
British Dictionary definitions for manhole


Also called inspection chamber. a shaft with a removable cover that leads down to a sewer or drain
a hole, usually with a detachable cover, through which a man can enter a boiler, tank, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for manhole

also man-hole, "hole through which a person may pass," 1793, from man (n.) + hole (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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