n. & v.
1 a a connected flexible series of esp. metal links as decoration or for a practical purpose. b something resembling this (formed a human chain).
2 (in pl.) a fetters used to confine prisoners. b any restraining force.
3 a sequence, series, or set (chain of events; mountain chain).
4 a group of associated hotels, shops, newspapers, etc.
5 a badge of office in the form of a chain worn round the neck (mayoral chain).
6 a a jointed measuring-line consisting of linked metal rods. b its length (66 ft.).
7 Chem. a group of (esp. carbon) atoms bonded in sequence in a molecule.
8 a figure in a quadrille or similar dance.
9 (in pl.) Naut. channels (see CHANNEL(2)).
10 (also chain-shot) hist. two cannon-balls or half balls joined by a chain and used in sea battles for bringing down a mast etc.
1 (often foll. by up) secure or confine with a chain.
2 confine or restrict (a person) (is chained to the office).
Phrases and idioms:
chain-armour armour made of interlaced rings. chain bridge a suspension bridge on chains. chain drive a system of transmission by endless chains. chain-gang a team of convicts chained together and forced to work in the open air. chain-gear a gear transmitting motion by means of an endless chain. chain-letter one of a sequence of letters the recipient of which is requested to send copies to a specific number of other people. chain-link made of wire in a diamond-shaped mesh (chain-link fencing). chain-mail = chain-armour. chain reaction
1 Physics a self-sustaining nuclear reaction, esp. one in which a neutron from a fission reaction initiates a series of these reactions.
2 Chem. a self-sustaining molecular reaction in which intermediate products initiate further reactions.
3 a series of events, each caused by the previous one. chain-saw a motor-driven saw with teeth on an endless chain. chain-smoker a person who smokes continually, esp. one who lights a cigarette etc. from the stub of the last one smoked. chain-stitch an ornamental embroidery or crochet stitch resembling chains. chain store one of a series of shops owned by one firm and selling the same sort of goods. chain-wale = CHANNEL(2). chain-wheel a wheel transmitting power by a chain fitted to its edges.
Etymology: ME f. OF cha(e)ine f. L catena

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chain — (ch[=a]n), n. [F. cha[^i]ne, fr. L. catena. Cf. {Catenate}.] 1. A series of links or rings, usually of metal, connected, or fitted into one another, used for various purposes, as of support, of restraint, of ornament, of the exertion and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chain — [tʆeɪn] noun [countable] 1. a number of shops, hotels, cinemas etc owned or managed by the same company or person: • Britain s leading supermarket chain chain of • a chain of travel agents. 2. a series of people or organizations involved in… …   Financial and business terms

  • chain — chain; chain·er; chain·less; chain·let; chain·man; chain·o·mat·ic; chain·wale; en·chain; en·chain·ment; un·chain; mul·ti·chain; …   English syllables

  • chain — [chān] n. [ME & OFr chaine < L catena < IE base * kat , to twist, twine > prob. OE heathor, confinement] 1. a flexible series of joined links, usually of metal, used to pull, confine, etc. or to transmit power 2. TIRE CHAIN 3. [pl.] a)… …   English World dictionary

  • Chain — Chain, v. t. [imp. p. p. {Chained} (ch[=a]nd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Chaining}.] 1. To fasten, bind, or connect with a chain; to fasten or bind securely, as with a chain; as, to chain a bulldog. [1913 Webster] Chained behind the hostile car. Prior.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chain — I (nexus) noun act of coming together, act of coupling, act of joining, act of uniting, affiliation, affinity, alliance, association, attachment, attraction, bond, bond of union, bridge, conjunction, connectedness, connecting link, connecting… …   Law dictionary

  • CHAIN — can refer to:* CHAIN programming language * CHAIN (industry standard), an acronym for Ceced Home Appliances Interoperating Network, a standard for a multi brands home network of interactive household appliances.See also Chain …   Wikipedia

  • chain — [n1] succession, series alternation, catena, concatenation, conglomerate, consecution, continuity, group, order, progression, row, sequence, set, string, syndicate, train, trust; concepts 432,727,769 chain [n2] connected metal links; jewelry made …   New thesaurus

  • chain —   [tʃeɪn, englisch], noch gebräuchliche Längeneinheit in Großbritannien und den USA: 1 chain = 22 yd = 20,1168 m …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Chain — [tʃein] das; s, <aus engl. chain »Kette«, dies aus fr. chaîne, vgl. ↑Chaine> Längeneinheit in Großbritannien u. in den USA (20,11 m) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

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