- shackles or fetters: to place a prisoner in chains.
- bondage; servitude: to live one's life in chains.
- Nautical. (in a sailing vessel) the area outboard at the foot of the shrouds of a mast: the customary position of the leadsman in taking soundings.
- tire chain.
- a distance-measuring device consisting of a chain of 100 links of equal length, having a total length either of 66 feet (20 meters) (Gunter's chain or surveyor's chain) or of 100 feet (30 meters) (engineer's chain).
- a unit of length equal to either of these.
- a graduated steel tape used for distance measurements. Abbreviation: ch
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Words nearby chain
Idioms for chain
Origin of chain
OTHER WORDS FROM chainchain·less, adjectivechain·like, adjectivein·ter·chain, verb (used with object)un·chained, adjective
Definition for chain (2 of 2)
Examples from the Web for chain
You expect soldiers of all ranks to understand the need to respect the chain of command, regardless of personal feelings.
Say what you want about Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F), the chain has done something special.
She was also crudely nicknamed “La Boule” in a reference to the ball and chain.
Cars swarm dangerously around them on this two-lane road carved, literally, into the side of a chain of mountains.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley|Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman|November 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But the chain of death continued in the family after the burial of their mother.This Man Lost 35 Relatives to Ebola and His Community Wants Him Gone|Wade C.L. Williams|October 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As far as he could see, chain after chain of mountains heaved themselves into his vision.Moon-Face and Other Stories|Jack London
A chain of snowy peaks stretched from south-west to north-east.An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet|A. Henry Savage Landor
I must declare to you that to us the Czar is not the only chain that fetters the body of the country.Mother|Maksim Gorky
Suddenly her hand went up to the chain around her neck and then down to her belt.The Four Corners Abroad|Amy Ella Blanchard
Then he quieted down and lay very, very still; and the next day the trapper came along and pulled him out by the chain.Forest Neighbors|William Davenport Hulbert
British Dictionary definitions for chain (1 of 2)
- a number of establishments such as hotels, shops, etc, having the same owner or management
- (as modifier)a chain store
Word Origin for chain
British Dictionary definitions for chain (2 of 2)
Medicine definitions for chain (1 of 2)
Medicine definitions for chain (2 of 2)
Science definitions for chain (1 of 2)
Science definitions for chain (2 of 2)
Idioms and Phrases with chain
In addition to the idioms beginning with chain
- chain reaction
- chain smoker
- ball and chain
- pull someone's chain