What does chain mean?

Definitions for chain

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word chain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. chain, concatenationnoun

    a series of things depending on each other as if linked together

    "the chain of command"; "a complicated concatenation of circumstances"

  2. chain, chemical chainnoun

    (chemistry) a series of linked atoms (generally in an organic molecule)

  3. chainnoun

    a series of (usually metal) rings or links fitted into one another to make a flexible ligament

  4. chainnoun

    (business) a number of similar establishments (stores or restaurants or banks or hotels or theaters) under one ownership

  5. chainnoun

    anything that acts as a restraint

  6. chainnoun

    a unit of length

  7. Chain, Ernst Boris Chain, Sir Ernst Boris Chainnoun

    British biochemist (born in Germany) who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1906-1979)

  8. range, mountain range, range of mountains, chain, mountain chain, chain of mountainsnoun

    a series of hills or mountains

    "the valley was between two ranges of hills"; "the plains lay just beyond the mountain range"

  9. chainnoun

    a linked or connected series of objects

    "a chain of daisies"

  10. chain, string, strandverb

    a necklace made by a stringing objects together

    "a string of beads"; "a strand of pearls";

  11. chainverb

    connect or arrange into a chain by linking

  12. chainverb

    fasten or secure with chains

    "Chain the chairs together"


  1. chainnoun

    A series of interconnected rings or links usually made of metal.

    He wore a gold chain around the neck.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  2. chainnoun

    A series of interconnected things.

    This led to an unfortunate chain of events.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  3. chainnoun

    A series of stores or businesses with the same brand name.

    That chain of restaurants is expanding into our town.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  4. chainnoun

    A number of atoms in a series, which combine to form a molecule.

    When examined, the molecular chain included oxygen and hydrogen.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  5. chainnoun

    A series of interconnected links of known length, used as a measuring device.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  6. chainnoun

    A long measuring tape.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  7. chainnoun

    A unit of length equal to 22 yards. The length of a Gunter's surveying chain. The length of a cricket pitch. Equal to 20.12 metres. Equal to 4 rods. Equal to 100 links.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  8. chainnoun

    A sequence of linked house purchases, each of which is dependent on the preceding and succeeding purchase (said to be "broken" if a buyer or seller pulls out).

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  9. chainverb

    To fasten something with a chain

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  10. chainverb

    To link multiple items together

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  11. chainverb

    To secure someone with fetters

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  12. chainverb

    To obstruct the mouth of a river etc with a chain

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  13. chainverb

    To relate data items with a chain of pointers.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  14. chainverb

    To be chained to another data item.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  15. chainverb

    To measure a distance using a 66-foot long chain, as in land surveying.

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

  16. chainverb

    To load and automatically run (a program).

    Etymology: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Chainnoun

    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 transmission of mechanical power, etc

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  2. Chainnoun

    that which confines, fetters, or secures, as a chain; a bond; as, the chains of habit

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  3. Chainnoun

    a series of things linked together; or a series of things connected and following each other in succession; as, a chain of mountains; a chain of events or ideas

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  4. Chainnoun

    an instrument which consists of links and is used in measuring land

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  5. Chainnoun

    iron links bolted to the side of a vessel to bold the dead-eyes connected with the shrouds; also, the channels

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  6. Chainnoun

    the warp threads of a web

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  7. Chainverb

    to fasten, bind, or connect with a chain; to fasten or bind securely, as with a chain; as, to chain a bulldog

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  8. Chainverb

    to keep in slavery; to enslave

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  9. Chainverb

    to unite closely and strongly

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  10. Chainverb

    to measure with the chain

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]

  11. Chainverb

    to protect by drawing a chain across, as a harbor

    Etymology: [F. chane, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.]


  1. Chain

    A chain is a series of connected links which are typically made of metal. A chain may consist of two or more links. Chains are usually made in one of two styles, according to their intended use: ⁕Those designed for lifting, such as when used with a hoist; for pulling; or for securing, such as with a bicycle lock, have links that are torus shaped, which make the chain flexible in two dimensions ⁕Those designed for transferring power in machines have links designed to mesh with the teeth of the sprockets of the machine, and are flexible in only one dimension. They are known as roller chains, though there are also non-roller chains such as block chain. Two distinct chains can be connected using a quick link which resembles a carabiner with a screw close rather than a latch.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Chain

    chān, n. a series of links or rings passing through one another: a number of things coming after each other: anything that binds: a connected course or train of events: in surveying, often called Gunter's chain, a measure of 100 links, 66 feet long (10 sq. chains make an acre): (pl.) fetters, bonds, confinement generally.—v.t. to fasten: to fetter: to restrain: (Shak.) to embrace.—ns. Chain′-arm′our, chain-mail; Chain′-bolt, a large bolt used to secure the chain-plates to the ship's side; Chain′-bridge, a bridge suspended on chains: a suspension-bridge; Chain′-cā′ble, a cable composed of iron links.—p.adj. Chained, bound or fastened, as with a chain: fitted with a chain.—n. Chain′-gang, a gang of convicts chained together.—adj. Chain′less, without chains: Piece of Chain-mail. unfettered.—ns. Chain′let, a small chain; Chain′-mail, mail or armour made of iron links connected together, much used in Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries; Chain′-mould′ing, moulding in the form of a chain; Chain′-pier, a pier supported by chains like a chain-bridge.—n.pl. Chain′-plates, on shipboard, iron plates bolted below the channels to serve as attachments for the dead-eyes, through which the standing rigging or shrouds and back-stays are rove and secured.—ns. Chain′-pump, a pump consisting of buckets or plates fastened to an endless iron chain, and used for raising water; Chain′-rule, an arithmetical rule, so called from the terms of the problem being stated as equations, and connected, as if by a chain, so as to obtain by one operation the same result as would be obtained by a number of different operations in simple proportion: the rule for solving problems by compound proportion; Chain′-shot, two bullets or half-bullets fastened together by a chain, used formerly in naval engagements to destroy rigging, now replaced by case-shot and shrapnel-shell; Chain′-stitch, a peculiar kind of stitch resembling the links of a chain; Chain′-work, work consisting of threads, cords, &c., wrought with open spaces like the links of a chain: network. [Fr. chaine—L. catēna.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. chain

    1. vi. [orig. from BASIC's CHAIN statement] To hand off execution to a child or successor without going through the OS command interpreter that invoked it. The state of the parent program is lost and there is no returning to it. Though this facility used to be common on memory-limited micros and is still widely supported for backward compatibility, the jargon usage is semi-obsolescent; in particular, most Unix programmers will think of this as an exec. Oppose the more modern subshell. 2. n. A series of linked data areas within an operating system or application. Chain rattling is the process of repeatedly running through the linked data areas searching for one which is of interest to the executing program. The implication is that there is a very large number of links on the chain.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. chain

    When mountains, hills, lakes, and islands are linked together, or follow each other in succession, so that their whole length greatly exceeds their breadth, they form what is termed a chain. A measuring chain is divided into links, &c., made of stout wire, because line is apt to shrink on wet ground and give way. The chain measure is 66 feet.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. chain

    A chain made of a kind of wire, divided into links of an equal length, is made use of by military engineers for setting out works on the ground, because cord lines are apt to shrink and give way.

Rap Dictionary

  1. chain

    chain used as a necklace usually silver,platinum or gold ,usually with a symbol or other cool item hanging from it Do your chain hang low, Do it wobble to the flo', Do it shine in the light, Is it platinum, Is it gold, Could you throw it over ya shoulda, If ya hot, it make ya cold, Do your chain hang low,

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'chain' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2821

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'chain' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2761

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'chain' in Nouns Frequency: #925

Anagrams for chain »

  1. china, China

  2. China

How to pronounce chain?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say chain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of chain in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of chain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of chain in a Sentence

  1. Gareth Jenkins:

    What we have seen in the last few days is the start of a process which will have an impact on Turkey and its armed forces for the next 20-30 years. It is monumental, we will see a very highly politicized military now, just as the civil service has become. Dismissals and detentions have a knock-on effect on the whole chain of command ... The inevitable loss of trust has a big impact on operational capabilities.

  2. Leonardo Euler de Morais:

    The pandemic certainly has an impact on the auction schedule and also in the 5G supply chain in the short-term, in the long run, however, the pandemic fuels 5G deployment and fiber expansion by testing the importance of digital solutions.

  3. Hannah Arrington:

    On the X-ray, it showed a line that almost looked like a pull chain cord for a fan.

  4. Tim Crockford:

    The attraction of the industry decreases as you move further down the value chain. Things like battery manufacturers and the battery pack assemblers, it's much more fragmented market with lower barriers to entry.

  5. Sinan Ulgen:

    It was outside the chain of command which was the biggest handicap for the coup plotters, they had an insufficient portfolio of resources. They were grossly under-equipped to achieve their strategic objectives ... There was definitely quite a degree of incompetence compared to how coups were done here in the past.

Images & Illustrations of chain

  1. chainchainchainchainchain

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Translations for chain

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    the act of taking something from someone unlawfully
    • A. allogamy
    • B. mumblety-peg
    • C. larceny
    • D. profaneness

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