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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Follow the money: The report explains that money laundering on chain includes bouncing assets through multiple wallets as a way of throwing off the scent of crime. Brady Dale, Axios, 12 July 2024 Towing boats and trailers or parking in dry grass Towing other vehicles often results in chains dragging low and scraping the roadway, fire officials said. Rick Hurd, The Mercury News, 12 July 2024
Verb
An adoptable dog is showing off his smile after spending most of his life chained outside. Julia Marnin, Miami Herald, 12 July 2024 Members infiltrated the New York Stock Exchange and chained themselves to a balcony to protest the high price of AZT, the only treatment for AIDS at the time. Sally Tamarkin, Them, 28 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for chain 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 25 Jul. 2024.

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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