A system of holes vs. the system of holes


Senior Member
I read the definition of the word "workings" and it was:

" the system of holes that has been dug in the ground in order to remove metal, coal, etc."

Is "the" in "the system" there because it's "A of B" structure, which I often have found very usual, or is there a logical reason, which can be explained, to have "the" there?

My thought is:

It can be 'a' system because everytime you would arrange holes as a system, it will be a system. It doesn't have to be just one systme so as to call it "the system."

Even in the dictionary's definition it doesn't neccesite that it has to be a specific system. I think at this point the significance of the system mentioned in the definiton is lost.

So, why is "the" there?
  • Logos_

    Senior Member
    English - America
    That definition is very strange and misleading. "Workings" or a "Working" is "a mine or a part of a mine from which minerals are being extracted." I cannot explain why it uses "the" insead of "a." The phrase "system of holes" is also rather needlessly abstract when they might simply have said that it is a mine, as every other dictionary does.
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