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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Adit \Ad"it\, n. [L. aditus, fr. adire, ?aitum, to go to; ad + ire to go.]

  1. 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.

  2. Admission; approach; access. [R.]

    Yourself and yours shall have Free adit.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"entrance," c.1600, from Latin aditus "approach, entrance, a going to or drawing near," from past participle stem of adire "to approach," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + ire "to go," from PIE root *ei- "to go" (see ion).


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.


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


An adit (from Latin aditus, entrance) is an entrance to an underground mine which is horizontal or nearly horizontal, by which the mine can be entered, drained of water, ventilated, and minerals extracted at the lowest convenient level. Adits are also used to explore for mineral veins.

Usage examples of "adit".

Ipse reliquas civitates adit, obsides plures imperat, timentes omnium animos consolatione sanat.

They poked their way up crooked drifts and adits, past brattices too rotten to push more than a whisper of fresh air through the dank tunnels.

They passed one of the adits that drained water from the mine, then concealed themselves in an abandoned passage while half a dozen boys pushed empty corves along the main tunnel.

There was an occasional shout, a tersely barked order, the rattle of machinery as it approached the adit, but most of the sounds of activity in the mines was swallowed in the silverlined bowels of the mountain.

What all these passages are, of course I cannot say, but we thought that they must be the ancient workings of a mine, of which the various shafts and adits travelled hither and thither as the ore led them.

The other two were smaller and close together, like two mine adits driven into the base of the cliffs.

They clicked and clacked when we showed them where we'd located the new lodes, and the next thing they had adit, shafts and quotas all drawn out for us, and the quantities of materials they'd need for shoring, what track, carts, cranes, stuff they evidently knew they didn't have to bring.

It was as if when the adit caved in and they found they were trapped in the shaft, they all decided to write their last wills and testaments on the support beams.

Fifty feet below it, on ground level, there will be a big adit with skips towed by cable to where locomotives can pick them up—to the crushers if it’s ore, to the dam if it’s rock.

The rhythmic thump and suck of a pumping engine sounded above the muffled thunder of the waves in the mouth of the adit.

When he kissed her, minute-long explorations of kisses, his erection trapped between their bellies, she trembled, trembled in her core, in some unprospected secret adit, and those elusive tremors, their seismic delicacy, made him feel huge and potent.