chain

1 of 2

noun

often attributive
1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

chained; chaining; chains

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

Example Sentences

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
For Maloney, the harvest stoppage has set his supply chain back by about a month. Christian Martinezstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan. 2023 Inspections will increase and businesses will need to prove all parts of their supply chain are organic. Nikki Battiste, CBS News, 20 Jan. 2023 The rule also requires certification for organic imports and businesses will need to provide certification showing key parts of their supply chain are organic. Carma Hassan, CNN, 19 Jan. 2023 Adidas has vehemently denied the allegations regarding working conditions in its supply chain. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune, 17 Jan. 2023 With almost all of its impact taking place in its supply chain, Shein also committed to submitting its own targets for validation. Time, 17 Jan. 2023 Britishvolt’s factory in the northeast promised to create 3,000 new jobs, with another 5,000 in its supply chain. WIRED, 17 Jan. 2023 Conagra has recently focused on adding capacity across its supply chain. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, 16 Jan. 2023 Wake up your posterior chain, glutes, and hamstrings with this full body lift. Men's Health, 13 Jan. 2023
Verb
The filing Tuesday in Southern District Court in Houston will give the party supply chain the opportunity to do that. Megan Munce, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Jan. 2023 Craft supplies chain Jo-Ann Stores this week announced a pause in quarterly dividends for investors after comparable store sales fell 8% during its most recent quarter, which ended in October. Christopher Rugaber, Fortune, 15 Dec. 2022 Jackson’s team took the time to strengthen existing relationships with vendors and providers to make the supply chain more efficient by communicating future needs and by keeping signals clean between teams. Jennifer Castenson, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 One photo showed a child holding a bear that was dressed in wrist and ankle restraints with a lock and chain around its neck. Bryan Pietsch, Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2022 So will projects that help make the supply chain more secure by, for example providing another production location for advanced chips that are manufactured in Taiwan. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2022 Both sides of this coin remind me of Lost, as far as trying to not only tie together as many characters as possible in a fraught tale but also chain together a confusing wilderness and the bewildering discovery within it. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 21 Sep. 2022 Sam also decides to chain himself in the basement, but Weisberg and Fields refuse to say whether Alan's therapy really did break through to Sam in the end. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 25 Oct. 2022 Since then, Lazarus Group has moved away from the popular Ethereum mixer, instead leveraging DeFi services to chain hop, or switch between several different kinds of cryptocurrencies in a single transaction. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 8 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near chain

Cite this Entry

“Chain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chain. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

chain

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: a series of connected links or rings
b
: a measuring instrument of 100 links used in surveying
c
: a unit of length equal to 66 feet (about 20 meters)
2
: something that restricts or binds : bond
3
a
: a series of things joined together as if by links
a chain of mountains
a chain of events
b
: a number of atoms united like links in a chain

chain

2 of 2 verb
: to fasten, bind, or connect with or as if with a chain

Medical Definition

chain

noun
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

Biographical Definition

Chain

biographical name

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

More from Merriam-Webster on chain

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