1 /tSeIn/ noun
1 JOINED RINGS (C, U) a series of rings, usually made of metal, which are joined together in a line and used for fastening things, supporting weights, decoration etc: Look at the gold chain Tim bought me! | a length of chain | a bridge supported on heavy chains | We had to stop and put chains on the tires. | a bicycle chain (=that makes the wheels turn) | chain of office BrE (=a decoration worn by some officials at ceremonies)
2 chain of events/circumstances etc (C) a connected series of events etc: the chain of events that led to World War I
-see also: chain of command, food chain
3 SHOPS/HOTELS (C) a number of shops, hotels, cinemas etc owned or managed by the same company or person
(+ of): a chain of restaurants | hotel/restaurant/retail etc chain: a major American hotel chain
4 CONNECTED LINE (C) people, mountains, islands etc forming a line: the largest mountain chain in North America | Everybody link arms to make a chain.
5 PRISONER chains (plural) chains fastened to a prisoner's legs and arms, to prevent them from escaping: in chains: There were a number of men in chains, all sentenced to death.
6 BUYING A HOUSE (countable usually singular) BrE a number of people buying houses in a situation where each person must complete the sale of their own house before they can buy the next person's house
7 MEASURE (C) a measurement of length, used in the past
2 verb
1 to fasten someone or something to something else, especially in order to prevent them from escaping or being stolen: chain sb/sth up: She wouldn't chain her dog up, and it got killed on the main road. | chain sb/sth together: convicts working all chained together | chain sb/sth to sth: There's a bicycle chained to the railings out front.
2 be chained to something to have your freedom restricted because of a responsibility you cannot escape: With a sick husband she's chained to the house all day.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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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

  • chain n — chain store n, chain letter …   English expressions

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