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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Wellhole \Well"hole`\, n. [1913 Webster] 1. (Arch.) (a) The open space in a floor, to accommodate a staircase. (b) The open space left beyond the ends of the steps of a staircase. [1913 Webster] 2. A cavity which receives a counterbalancing weight in certain mechanical contrivances, and is adapted also for other purposes. --W. M. Buchanan. [1913 Webster]