What does chain mean?

Definitions for chain

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. chain, concatenation(noun)

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

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

  2. chain, chemical chain(noun)

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

  3. chain(noun)

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

  4. chain(noun)

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

  5. chain(noun)

    anything that acts as a restraint

  6. chain(noun)

    a unit of length

  7. Chain, Ernst Boris Chain, Sir Ernst Boris Chain(noun)

    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 mountains(noun)

    a series of hills or mountains

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

  9. chain(noun)

    a linked or connected series of objects

    "a chain of daisies"

  10. chain, string, strand(verb)

    a necklace made by a stringing objects together

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

  11. chain(verb)

    connect or arrange into a chain by linking

  12. chain(verb)

    fasten or secure with chains

    "Chain the chairs together"


  1. chain(Noun)

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

    He wore a gold chain around the neck.

  2. chain(Noun)

    A series of interconnected things.

    This led to an unfortunate chain of events.

  3. chain(Noun)

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

    That chain of restaurants is expanding into our town.

  4. chain(Noun)

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

    When examined, the molecular chain included oxygen and hydrogen.

  5. chain(Noun)

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

  6. chain(Noun)

    A long measuring tape.

  7. chain(Noun)

    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.

  8. chain(Noun)

    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).

  9. chain(Verb)

    To fasten something with a chain

  10. chain(Verb)

    To link multiple items together

  11. chain(Verb)

    To secure someone with fetters

  12. chain(Verb)

    To obstruct the mouth of a river etc with a chain

  13. chain(Verb)

    To relate data items with a chain of pointers.

  14. chain(Verb)

    To be chained to another data item.

  15. chain(Verb)

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

  16. chain(Verb)

    To load and automatically run (a program).

  17. Origin: From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Chain(noun)

    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

  2. Chain(noun)

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

  3. Chain(noun)

    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

  4. Chain(noun)

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

  5. Chain(noun)

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

  6. Chain(noun)

    the warp threads of a web

  7. Chain(verb)

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

  8. Chain(verb)

    to keep in slavery; to enslave

  9. Chain(verb)

    to unite closely and strongly

  10. Chain(verb)

    to measure with the chain

  11. Chain(verb)

    to protect by drawing a chain across, as a harbor

  12. Origin: [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.

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. chain


  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. Katherine Gronberg:

    The supply chain is very complex.

  2. President Trump:

    We are going to end chain migration.

  3. Kristin Dziczek:

    You can't turn your supply chain on a dime.

  4. Elaine Luria:

    There's not a vertical chain of command structure.

  5. Richard Ebright:

    The incident involves exactly the same chain of errors.

Images & Illustrations of chain

  1. chainchainchainchainchain

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for chain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"chain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 15 Dec. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/chain>.

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