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Definition of shaft

i. An excavation of limited area compared with its depth; made for finding or mining ore or coal, raising water, ore, rock, or coal, hoisting and lowering workers and material, or ventilating underground workings. The term is often specif. applied to an approx. vertical shaft, as distinguished from an incline or inclined shaft. A shaft is provided with a hoisting engine at the top for handling workers, rock, and supplies; or it may be used only in connection with pumping or ventilating operations.

Compare with: incline

ii. A brick or stone stack or chimney.

Ref: Standard, 2

iii. The upper zone of a blast furnace.

Ref: Mersereau, 2

iv. See: abyss

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