chain meaning

[ tʃein ] Pronunciation:   "chain" in a sentence
Noun: chain  cheyn
  1. A series of things depending on each other as if linked together
    "the chain of command"
    - concatenation 
  2. (chemistry) a series of linked atoms (generally in an organic molecule)
    - chemical chain 
  3. A series of (usually metal) rings or links fitted into one another to make a flexible ligament 
  4. (business) a number of similar establishments (stores or restaurants or banks or hotels or theatres) under one ownership 
  5. Anything that acts as a restraint 
  6. A unit of length 
  7. A series of hills or mountains
    - range, mountain range, range of mountains, mountain chain, chain of mountains 
  8. A linked or connected series of objects
    "a chain of daisies" 
  9. A necklace made by a stringing objects together
    - string, strand
Verb: chain  cheyn
  1. Connect or arrange into a chain by linking 
  2. Fasten or secure with chains
    "Chain the chairs together"
Noun: Chain  cheyn
  1. British biochemist (born in Germany) who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1906-1979)
    - Ernst Boris Chain, Sir Ernst Boris Chain

Derived forms: chained, chains, chaining

See also: catenulate

Type of: arrange, biochemist, building block, business, business concern, business organisation [Brit], business organization, concern, constraint, fasten, fix, formation, geological formation, ligament, linear measure, linear unit, necklace, restraint, secure, series, set up, unit

Antonym: unchain

Part of: bicycle, bike, chain printer, chain tongs, cycle, molecule, wheel

Encyclopedia: Chain Chain, Planetary

[American slang]
in. to smoke cigarette after cigarette.
• I never wanted to chainsmoke, but I got addicted.
• I used to chain, and my husband threatened to leave me if I didn't give it up. I quit when he left.


A land surveyor's standard distance-measuring device. Also see Gunter's chain.

noun [C]



a group of shops/stores, hotels, etc. owned by the same company:

The company sells its products through retail chains.

a chain of book stores

a fast-food/grocery/hotel/retail/supermarket chain

◆ a chain of chemists/clubs/restaurants/stores/supermarkets


a series of things or people that are connected:

Most organizations have a formal chain of command (= a system by which instructions are passed down from one person to another).

a chain of events that led to the collapse of the company

See net, chain, cell system.


More:   Next
  1. in a spasm of rapture he tears off his chains.
  2. more reds now swarmed over the chains.
  3. is there any bend in the seamount chain?
  4. chain is a business that has several outlets.
  5. the dog is fastened to post by an iron chain.

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