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.

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

  2. chain(Noun)

    A series of interconnected things.

    This led to an unfortunate chain of events.

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

  3. chain(Noun)

    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. chain(Noun)

    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. chain(Noun)

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

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

  6. chain(Noun)

    A long measuring tape.

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

  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.

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

  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).

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

  9. chain(Verb)

    To fasten something with a chain

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

  10. chain(Verb)

    To link multiple items together

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

  11. chain(Verb)

    To secure someone with fetters

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

  12. chain(Verb)

    To obstruct the mouth of a river etc with a chain

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

  13. chain(Verb)

    To relate data items with a chain of pointers.

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

  14. chain(Verb)

    To be chained to another data item.

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

  15. chain(Verb)

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

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

  16. chain(Verb)

    To load and automatically run (a program).

    Etymology: 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

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

  2. Chain(noun)

    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. 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

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

  4. Chain(noun)

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

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

  5. Chain(noun)

    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. Chain(noun)

    the warp threads of a web

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

  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

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

  8. Chain(verb)

    to keep in slavery; to enslave

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

  9. Chain(verb)

    to unite closely and strongly

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

  10. Chain(verb)

    to measure with the chain

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

  11. Chain(verb)

    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. Dominic Mellor:

    There needs to be a change in mindsets and reassessment of the government's role, with targeted business development support, it needs to move away from blanket subsidies towards targeted subsidies for industries and businesses able to compete and integrate into the global value chain.

  2. Neil Campling:

    The headline news from Apple on iPhone sales has been taken well and there's a relief bounce today across Apple supply chain names which had been hit in recent weeks.

  3. Brett McGurk:

    We have a lot of tools to protect ourselves and our national security interests, some of which are military tools, of course we apply those tools when the president determines and our chain of command makes the recommendation that that is the right thing to do.

  4. Federico Fanti:

    This animal, however, used to feast on the large turtles or big fishes that it found in the ocean, he was so big and so powerful that it was absolutely at the top of the food chain.

  5. Aaron Sorkin:

    Lieutenant Commander Galloway [behind a chain link fence at a ball field]: Do you know what a code red is? Lieutenant Kaffee, standing on the ball field, looks at her in silence with a blank expression on his face. Galloway: What a pity.

Images & Illustrations of chain

  1. chainchainchainchainchain

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for chain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for chain »


Find a translation for the chain definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these chain definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "chain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 May 2021. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/chain>.

    Are we missing a good definition for chain? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    directed outward; marked by interest in others or concerned with external reality
    • A. appellative
    • B. extroversive
    • C. contagious
    • D. eminent

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for chain: