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
To the relief of gift buyers, however, holiday shopping would remain largely unaffected by a strike, Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation, told ABC News. Max Zahn, ABC News, 30 Nov. 2022 The White House has flagged the potential disruption of the pharmaceutical supply chain as a national-security issue, saying these drugs are essential to the health and prosperity of the country. Richard Vanderford, WSJ, 30 Nov. 2022 But a complete shut down would strain the rest of the supply chain. Jaclyn Peiser And Rachel Lerman, BostonGlobe.com, 29 Nov. 2022 But a complete shut down would strain the rest of the supply chain. Rachel Lerman, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2022 America’s port truck drivers are a nearly-invisible yet crucial part of the global supply chain. Jane L. Levere, New York Times, 27 Nov. 2022 That’s the largest share of the waste, as the below chart shows, but waste accumulates at each stage of the supply chain, from the farm (27%) to the store (7%). Emily Barone, Time, 23 Nov. 2022 Attackers only have to target one segment of the supply chain to throw the entire food production or delivery system off balance. Bymark Manglicmot, Fortune, 23 Nov. 2022 The thefts also raised concerns about vulnerabilities in a key element of the supply chain. Libor Janystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2022
Verb
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 Worried silicone will succumb to chain grease or scorching desert? Olivia Dwyer, Outside Online, 6 Feb. 2018 New domestic high-tech mines and factories could make this supply chain more secure, and potentially less damaging to the global environment. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Aug. 2022 The activists were going to park a U-Haul sideways across an entrance and chain themselves to the vehicle, thereby preventing trucks full of chickens from entering the plant. Elizabeth Barber, Harper’s Magazine , 28 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 5 Dec. 2022.

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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