chain reaction

noun

Definition of chain reaction

1a : a series of events so related to each other that each one initiates the next
b : a number of events triggered by the same initial event
2 : a self-sustaining chemical or nuclear reaction yielding energy or products that cause further reactions of the same kind

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Other Words from chain reaction

chain-react \ ˈchān-​rē-​ˈakt How to pronounce chain reaction (audio) \ intransitive verb

Examples of chain reaction in a Sentence

Increased oil prices could trigger a chain reaction in the economy.
Recent Examples on the Web Martin fell from his bike, leading to a chain reaction of other riders tumbling to the pavement. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, 1 July 2021 Notch Brewery is planning to release a beer on June 10 to recognize Allan’s role in starting a chain reaction in the industry. BostonGlobe.com, 27 May 2021 The accident occurred in southern Alabama, where authorities believe a hydroplaning car triggered a chain reaction accident on I-65. NBC News, 21 June 2021 The filing kick-started a chain reaction: Jackson was held in contempt of court. Megan Crepeau, chicagotribune.com, 19 June 2021 Troopers believe a black Jeep failed to control its speed and rear-ended a slowing Honda in front of it, causing a chain reaction and pushing it into Bryant’s green Jeep. James Whitlow, baltimoresun.com, 18 June 2021 My challenge set off a chain reaction throughout the company. Jack Altman, Forbes, 7 June 2021 That collision caused a chain reaction collision with the Greyhound bus. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 7 June 2021 Knowing that a single action has sparked off a chain reaction, impacting the lives and well-being of so many people around the country has been humbling and gratifying. Shreevar Kheruka For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 2 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chain reaction.' 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 reaction

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for chain reaction

Time Traveler

The first known use of chain reaction was in 1892

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Dictionary Entries Near chain reaction

chain-reacting pile

chain reaction

chain reactor

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Statistics for chain reaction

Last Updated

7 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chain reaction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chain%20reaction. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for chain reaction

chain reaction

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chain reaction

: a series of events in which each event causes the next one : a series of events caused by one single event
technical : a chemical or nuclear change that causes other changes of the same kind to happen

chain reaction

noun

Kids Definition of chain reaction

: a series of events in which each event causes the next one

chain reaction

noun

Medical Definition of chain reaction

: a self-sustaining chemical or nuclear reaction yielding energy or products that cause further reactions of the same kind

More from Merriam-Webster on chain reaction

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chain reaction

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chain reaction

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