chains, chaining, chained
1) N-COUNT A chain consists of metal rings connected together in a line.

His open shirt revealed a fat gold chain...

The dogs were leaping and growling at the full stretch of their chains.

2) N-PLURAL: in N If prisoners are in chains, they have thick rings of metal round their wrists or ankles to prevent them from escaping.

He'd spent four and a half years in windowless cells, much of the time in chains.

3) N-PLURAL: oft N of n You can refer to feelings and duties which prevent you from doing what you want to do as chains. [LITERARY]

He had to break right now the chains of habit that bound him to the present.

4) VERB If a person or thing is chained to something, they are fastened to it with a chain.

[be V-ed to n] The dog was chained to the leg of the one solid garden seat...

[V n to n] She chained her bike to the railings...

[V n to n] Some demonstrators chained themselves to railings inside the court building...

[V-ed] We were sitting together in our cell, chained to the wall. [Also V n adv/prep]

Chain up means the same as chain.

V n P I'll lock the doors and chain you up... V-ed P They kept me chained up every night and released me each day... Also V P n (not pron) V-ed P All the rowing boats were chained up.

5) N-COUNT: N of n A chain of things is a group of them existing or arranged in a line.

...a chain of islands known as the Windward Islands...

Students tried to form a human chain around the parliament.

6) N-COUNT: with supp A chain of shops, hotels, or other businesses is a number of them owned by the same person or company.

...a large supermarket chain.

...Italy's leading chain of cinemas.

7) N-SING: N of n A chain of events is a series of them happening one after another.

...the bizarre chain of events that led to his departure in January 1938.

8) See also food chain
Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chain — (ch[=a]n), n. [F. cha[^i]ne, fr. L. catena. Cf. {Catenate}.] 1. A series of links or rings, usually of metal, connected, or fitted into one another, used for various purposes, as of support, of restraint, of ornament, of the exertion and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chain — [tʆeɪn] noun [countable] 1. a number of shops, hotels, cinemas etc owned or managed by the same company or person: • Britain s leading supermarket chain chain of • a chain of travel agents. 2. a series of people or organizations involved in… …   Financial and business terms

  • chain — chain; chain·er; chain·less; chain·let; chain·man; chain·o·mat·ic; chain·wale; en·chain; en·chain·ment; un·chain; mul·ti·chain; …   English syllables

  • chain — [chān] n. [ME & OFr chaine < L catena < IE base * kat , to twist, twine > prob. OE heathor, confinement] 1. a flexible series of joined links, usually of metal, used to pull, confine, etc. or to transmit power 2. TIRE CHAIN 3. [pl.] a)… …   English World dictionary

  • Chain — Chain, v. t. [imp. p. p. {Chained} (ch[=a]nd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Chaining}.] 1. To fasten, bind, or connect with a chain; to fasten or bind securely, as with a chain; as, to chain a bulldog. [1913 Webster] Chained behind the hostile car. Prior.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chain — I (nexus) noun act of coming together, act of coupling, act of joining, act of uniting, affiliation, affinity, alliance, association, attachment, attraction, bond, bond of union, bridge, conjunction, connectedness, connecting link, connecting… …   Law dictionary

  • CHAIN — can refer to:* CHAIN programming language * CHAIN (industry standard), an acronym for Ceced Home Appliances Interoperating Network, a standard for a multi brands home network of interactive household appliances.See also Chain …   Wikipedia

  • chain — [n1] succession, series alternation, catena, concatenation, conglomerate, consecution, continuity, group, order, progression, row, sequence, set, string, syndicate, train, trust; concepts 432,727,769 chain [n2] connected metal links; jewelry made …   New thesaurus

  • chain —   [tʃeɪn, englisch], noch gebräuchliche Längeneinheit in Großbritannien und den USA: 1 chain = 22 yd = 20,1168 m …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Chain — [tʃein] das; s, <aus engl. chain »Kette«, dies aus fr. chaîne, vgl. ↑Chaine> Längeneinheit in Großbritannien u. in den USA (20,11 m) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • chain n — chain store n, chain letter …   English expressions

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