chain

noun, often attributive
\ˈchān \

Definition of chain 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a series of usually metal links or rings connected to or fitted into one another and used for various purposes (such as support, restraint, transmission of mechanical power, or measurement)

b : a series of links used or worn as an ornament or insignia

c(1) : a measuring instrument of 100 links used in surveying

(2) : a unit of length equal to 66 feet (about 20 meters)

2 : something that confines, restrains, or secures

3a : a series of things linked, connected, or associated together a chain of events a mountain chain

b : a group of enterprises or institutions of the same kind or function usually under a single ownership, management, or control fast-food chains

c : a number of atoms or chemical groups united like links in a chain

chain

verb
chained; chaining; chains

Definition of chain (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to obstruct or protect by a chain

2 : to fasten, bind, or connect with or as if with a chain also : fetter

Chain

biographical name
\ˈchān \

Definition of Chain (Entry 3 of 3)

Sir Ernst Boris 1906–1979 British (German-born) biochemist

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Examples of chain in a Sentence

Noun

We'll need 25 feet of chain for the pulley. The new book chronicles the chain of events leading up to the crime. They own a chain of organic grocery stores. The hotel chain recently opened a new hotel in Hong Kong.

Verb

She chained her bicycle to the post and went inside. chaining up the dog in the backyard
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the first two months of the program, young ER visitors spent more than 80 hours on the iPads, reading more than 430 books, according to Poinciana Medical Center, which is a 76-bed hospital in Kissimmee and part of the HCA hospital chain. Naseem S. Miller, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Poinciana Medical Center installs iPads in ER waiting room," 14 July 2018 The fourth division, also scheduled for November, will also deal with supply-chain platforms and the linking of global ports and free-trade zones, Wu said. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "How Seven Stars Cloud Plans To Spend $283M In West Hartford," 14 July 2018 The school is taking action after the pizza chain's founder, John Schnatter, reportedly complained that Kentucky Fried Chicken's Colonel Sanders never faced a backlash for using a racial slur. Houston Chronicle, "Louisville football stadium removing Papa John's name," 13 July 2018 The University of Louisville is removing Papa John's from its football stadium's name after a report the pizza chain's founder used a racial slur. Dylan Lovan, chicagotribune.com, "University of Louisville removing Papa John's from its football stadium's name," 13 July 2018 Your Pie Pizza: Get a free scoop of the chain’s authentic Italian gelato Sunday at participating locations. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "What's the scoop? See the deals Sunday for National Ice Cream Day," 13 July 2018 The person was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain's name. Candace Choi, Cincinnati.com, "Papa John's to pull founder from marketing after racial slur reports," 13 July 2018 The person was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain's name. Candice Choi, Fox News, "Papa John's to take John Schnatter's face off its marketing materials," 13 July 2018 One large ecommerce company is interested in building internal privacy controls like Uber’s, for example, and sharing more supply chain data with partners while protecting commercially sensitive information. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "How a Startup Is Using the Blockchain to Protect Your Privacy," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Despite these mechanisms of political and legal intimidation, everyday folks have continued to persevere, from kayak blockades in the bayous to people chaining themselves to extractors in protest of the construction. Mary Lovell, Teen Vogue, "Bayou Bridge Pipeline Meets Resistance from the L’eau Est La Vie Camp," 16 Oct. 2018 Relative of lost sub crew protest: Relatives of the 44 crew members who vanished with an Argentine submarine chained themselves to the fence in front of the presidential offices Thursday to demand more efforts to locate the vessel. Washington Post, "World Digest: June 27, 2018," 27 June 2018 Fawcett's suffrage movement used non-violent methods to campaign for equal rights for women, as opposed to the more radical suffragettes known for their extreme tactics of hunger strikes, arson and chaining themselves to property. Sheena Mckenzie, CNN, "All the statues in London's Parliament Square were men -- until now," 24 Apr. 2018 The Serpents continue their protests against the demolition of Southside High by chaining themselves outside the school. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Riverdale Season 2 Episode 16: Ethel Goes Full Mean Girls on Veronica," 22 Mar. 2018 That evening, as the guards placed bags over their prisoners’ heads, chained them together and marched them to the bathroom, Zimbardo watched Maslach’s eyes fill with tears. Katie Worth, Scientific American, "When Scientists Are Mad about Each Other," 14 Feb. 2014 Four people had chained themselves to the fence outside the Casa Rosada on Thursday, and they were supported by about a dozen other relatives. Washington Post, "World Digest: June 27, 2018," 27 June 2018 Kohlhepp killed the boyfriend of the woman found chained in the container and another couple in December 2015. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Man who bought 12 guns for serial killer pleads guilty," 24 May 2018 Police received a report around 12:30 p.m. about a green metal box chained to a tree behind the restaurant, on 13620 Highway 6. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "No explosives found after bomb squad called to Jack-in-the-Box in Santa Fe," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chain

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chain

Noun

Middle English cheyne, from Anglo-French chaene, from Latin catena

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Learn More about chain

Dictionary Entries near chain

chahi

chai

Chaima

chain

Chain

chain armor

chain banking

Statistics for chain

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chain

The first known use of chain was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

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More Definitions for chain

chain

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a series of usually metal links or rings that are connected to each other in a line and used for supporting heavy things, for holding things together, for decoration, etc.

: a chain that is attached to the arms or legs of a prisoner

: a series or group of things or people that are connected to each other in some way

chain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of chain (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fasten, hold, or connect (someone or something) with a chain

chain

noun
\ˈchān \

Kids Definition of chain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a series of connected links or rings usually of metal She wore a gold chain around her neck.

2 : a series of things joined together as if by links a chain of mountains a chain of events

3 : a group of businesses that have the same name and sell the same products or services a chain of grocery stores

chain

verb
chained; chaining

Kids Definition of chain (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fasten, bind, or connect with or as if with a chain I chained my bike to a tree.

chain

noun
\ˈchān \

Medical Definition of chain 

1 : a series of things (as bacteria) linked, connected, or associated together

2 : a number of atoms or chemical groups united like links in a chain

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Comments on chain

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