See under chain(def 8a).
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Origin of Gunter's chain
First recorded in 1670–80; named after E. Gunter
Definition for gunters-chain (2 of 2)
[ cheyn ]
/ tʃeɪn /
a series of objects connected one after the other, usually in the form of a series of metal rings passing through one another, used either for various purposes requiring a flexible tie with high tensile strength, as for hauling, supporting, or confining, or in various ornamental and decorative forms.
Often chains. something that binds or restrains; bond: the chain of timidity; the chains of loyalty.
- 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 series of things connected or following in succession: a chain of events.
a range of mountains.
a number of similar establishments, as banks, theaters, or hotels, under one ownership or management.
Chemistry. two or more atoms of the same element, usually carbon, attached as in a chain.Compare ring1(def 17).
Surveying, Civil Engineering.
- 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
Mathematics. totally ordered set.
Football. a chain 10 yards (9 meters) in length for determining whether a first down has been earned.
verb (used with object)
to fasten or secure with a chain: to chain a dog to a post.
to confine or restrain: His work chained him to his desk.
Surveying. to measure (a distance on the ground) with a chain or tape.
Computers. to link (related items, as records in a file or portions of a program) together, especially so that items can be run in sequence.
to make (a chain stitch or series of chain stitches), as in crocheting.
verb (used without object)
to form or make a chain.
Origin of chain
1250–1300; Middle English chayne < Old French chaeine < Latin catēna fetter; see catena
Related formschain·less, adjectivechain·like, adjectivein·ter·chain, verb (used with object)un·chained, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for gunters-chain (1 of 3)
/ (tʃeɪn) /
Sir Ernst Boris. 1906–79, British biochemist, born in Germany: purified and adapted penicillin for clinical use; with Fleming and Florey shared the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine 1945
British Dictionary definitions for gunters-chain (2 of 3)
surveying a measuring chain 22 yards in length, or this length as a unitSee chain (def. 7)
Word Origin for Gunter's chain
C17: named after Edmund Gunter (1581–1626), English mathematician and astronomer
British Dictionary definitions for gunters-chain (3 of 3)
/ (tʃeɪn) /
a flexible length of metal links, used for confining, connecting, pulling, etc, or in jewellery
(usually plural) anything that confines, fetters, or restrainsthe chains of poverty
Also called: snow chains (usually plural) a set of metal links that fit over the tyre of a motor vehicle to increase traction and reduce skidding on an icy surface
- a number of establishments such as hotels, shops, etc, having the same owner or management
- (as modifier)a chain store
a series of related or connected facts, events, etc
a series of deals in which each depends on a purchaser selling before being able to buy
(of reasoning) a sequence of arguments each of which takes the conclusion of the preceding as a premiseSee (as an example) sorites
Also called: Gunter's chain a unit of length equal to 22 yards
Also called: engineer's chain a unit of length equal to 100 feet
chem two or more atoms or groups bonded together so that the configuration of the resulting molecule, ion, or radical resembles a chainSee also open chain, ring 1 (def. 18)
geography a series of natural features, esp approximately parallel mountain ranges
off the chain Australian and NZ informal free from responsibility
jerk someone's chain or yank someone's chain informal to tease, mislead, or harass someone
surveying to measure with a chain or tape
(tr often foll by up) to confine, tie, or make fast with or as if with a chain
to sew using chain stitch
Word Origin for chain
C13: from Old French chaine, ultimately from Latin; see catena
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Medicine definitions for gunters-chain (1 of 2)
[ chān ]
A group of atoms covalently bonded in a spatial configuration like links in a chain.
A linear arrangement of living things such as cells or bacteria.
Medicine definitions for gunters-chain (2 of 2)
Ernst Boris 1906-1979
[ chān ]
German-born British biochemist. He shared a 1945 Nobel Prize for isolating and purifying penicillin, discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for gunters-chain
[ chān ]
A group of atoms, often of the same element, bound together in a line, branched line, or ring to form a molecule.♦ In a straight chain, each of the constituent atoms is attached to other single atoms, not to groups of atoms.♦ In a branched chain, side groups are attached to the chain.♦ In a closed chain, the atoms are arranged in the shape of a ring.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with gunters-chain
In addition to the idioms beginning with chain
- chain reaction
- chain smoker
- ball and chain
- pull someone's chain
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.