chain

noun, often attributive
\ ˈchān How to pronounce chain (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Chain (audio) \

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

The 136-year-old grocer is also shaking things up in the brick and mortar realm, pedaling its goods in Walgreens and selling off its convenience store chain for $2.15 billion. Fortune, "Kroger," 1 July 2019 The Your CBD Store chain also uses a third-party lab to test the quality of their products, Kirby said. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "This new Northern Kentucky store specializes in CBD oil," 1 July 2019 Her photographs are frank and blunt in their acceptance of chain link, barbed wire, mud and smothering mounds of knotweed. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga 50 photo shows uncover fresh takes on the recovery of a once combustible river," 30 June 2019 Inside the cavernous space, the center is divided into sections for single adults, families and unaccompanied minors, all behind chain-link fencing. Emanuella Grinberg And Geneva Sands, CNN, "Adult migrants are being held in this facility longer than they should be," 28 June 2019 Obama's administration detained large numbers of unaccompanied children inside chain link fences in 2014. CBS News, "Fact check: The first Democratic primary debate, Day 2," 28 June 2019 For ten years his admirer had been labouring to emulate his astonishingly meticulous chains and cascades of foliage, fruit, flowers, feathers and shells in the same white lime or linden wood. The Economist, "Obituary: David Esterly died on June 15th," 28 June 2019 Our small group crosses a thin creek and approaches a sliding chain-link gate leading to the sanctuary’s main habitat. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Can ‘wolf therapy’ open people up? One shaman aims to find out.," 26 June 2019 No buildings standing open with dim-eyed figures guarding holes leading to cellars; just walls and chain-link on all sides, and she and Joe the only pedestrians for miles. Nell Zink, Harper's magazine, "Marmalade Sky," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The owner of Green Planet in the southern city of Caserta chained himself to the fence around his locked shop this month after a raid in which police seized 16 grams of cannabis light. Colleen Barry, BostonGlobe.com, "Italy’s ‘cannabis light’ creates buzz even if the pot won’t," 27 June 2019 Khai Khem was still chained by his neck to a hook in the floor. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism," 12 June 2019 The Sheriff’s Office says some people chained themselves together while others walked onto the property. USA TODAY, "Painting over history, saving cats’ claws, angry birds: News from around our 50 states," 5 June 2019 My voice is still frozen to silence, my poetry chained down by an icy band of indifference. Elaine Showalter, The New York Review of Books, "Whitman, Melville, & Julia Ward Howe: A Tale of Three Bicentennials," 27 May 2019 Local affiliate Fox 45 News reported that some students had chained themselves to a stairway inside the building, as well. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "7 Arrested by Baltimore Police, Breaking Up Monthlong Johns Hopkins Protests Against Private Police, ICE Contracts," 8 May 2019 Heder says the officer handcuffed them and chained them together. Lauren Bohn, Marie Claire, "Who Killed Claudia Gomez?," 2 May 2019 Euron drags Yara, Ellaria, and Tyene Sand into King’s Landing, each chained by the neck. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3: 12 Things to Know About "The Queen's Justice"," 31 July 2017 Blame economics: Instead of a massive single steam engine, diesels could be daisy-chained together and controlled from the lead engine. Tom Bentley, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Big Boy 4014 is Such a Badass Train," 13 June 2019

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

chai

chai latte

Chaima

chain

Chain

chain armor

chain banking

Statistics for chain

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chain

The first known use of chain was in the 14th 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 How to pronounce chain (audio) \

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 How to pronounce chain (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on chain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chain

Spanish Central: Translation of chain

Nglish: Translation of chain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chain

Comments on chain

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