noun (used with a plural verb)

Origin of links

before 1100; Middle English lynkys slopes, Old English hlincas, plural of hlinc rising ground, equivalent to hlin(ian) to lean1, bend (akin to Greek klī́nein to cause to slope) + -k suffix
Can be confusedlinks lynx




one of the rings or separate pieces of which a chain is composed.
anything serving to connect one part or thing with another; a bond or tie: The locket was a link with the past.
a unit in a communications system, as a radio relay station or a television booster station.
any of a series of sausages in a chain.
a cuff link.
a ring, loop, or the like: a link of hair.
Computers. an object, as text or graphics, linked through hypertext to a document, another object, etc.
Surveying, Civil Engineering.
  1. (in a surveyor's chain) a unit of length equal to 7.92 inches (20.12 centimeters).
  2. one of 100 rods or loops of equal length forming a surveyor's or engineer's chain.
Chemistry. bond1(def 15).
Machinery. a rigid, movable piece or rod, connected with other parts by means of pivots or the like, for the purpose of transmitting motion.

verb (used with or without object)

to join by or as if by a link or links; connect; unite (often followed by up): The new bridge will link the island to the mainland. The company will soon link up with a hotel chain.
  1. to create links in or to a Web page or electronic document: The page is linked to my online store.
  2. to have links to a Web page or electronic document: The essay links to three of my published articles.

Origin of link

1375–1425; late Middle English link(e) < Old Danish lænkia chain; cognate with Old Norse hlekkr link (plural, chain), Old English hlence coat of chain mail, akin to German Gelenk joint
Related formslink·er, noun

Synonyms for link

Synonym study

2. See bond1.

Word story

7, 12b. See Internet.




a torch, especially of tow and pitch.

Origin of link

1520–30; perhaps special use of link1; the torches so called may have been made of strands twisted together in chainlike form Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for links

Contemporary Examples of links

Historical Examples of links

  • The girl shook the links of the handcuffs in a gesture stronger than words.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • They had wrapped the links of the chain in grass and leaves, so that no clanking was heard.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • There are, as I have said, four links to the chain of thought in this passage:--1.

    Slavery Ordained of God

    Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.

  • I will now regard the second, third, and fourth links of the chain.

    Slavery Ordained of God

    Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.

  • No links must be broken, no chasms bridged, in the scientific series.

British Dictionary definitions for links


pl n

  1. short for golf links
  2. (as modifier)a links course
mainly Scot undulating sandy ground near the shore

Word Origin for links

Old English hlincas plural of hlinc ridge




any of the separate rings, loops, or pieces that connect or make up a chain
something that resembles such a ring, loop, or piece
a road, rail, air, or sea connection, as between two main routes
a connecting part or episode
a connecting piece in a mechanism, often having pivoted ends
Also called: radio link a system of transmitters and receivers that connect two locations by means of radio and television signals
a unit of length equal to one hundredth of a chain. 1 link of a Gunter's chain is equal to 7.92 inches, and of an engineer's chain to 1 foot
computing short for hyperlink
weak link an unreliable person or thing within an organization or system


(often foll by up) to connect or be connected with or as if with links
(tr) to connect by association, etc
Derived Formslinkable, adjective

Word Origin for link

C14: from Scandinavian; compare Old Norse hlekkr link




(formerly) a torch used to light dark streets

Word Origin for link

C16: perhaps from Latin lychnus, from Greek lukhnos lamp
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

Word Origin and History for links

"undulating sandy ground," 1728, from Scottish/Northumbrian link "sandy, rolling ground near seashore," from Old English hlinc "rising ground, ridge;" perhaps from the same Proto-Germanic root as lean (v.). This type of landscape in Scotland was where golf first was played; the word has been part of the names of golf courses since at least 1728.



"torch," 1520s, of uncertain origin, possibly from Medieval Latin linchinus, from lichinus "wick," from Greek lykhnos "portable light, lamp."



"bind, fasten, to couple," late 14c., believed to be from link (n.), though it is attested earlier. Related: Linked; linking.



early 15c., "one of a series of rings or loops which form a chain; section of a cord," probably from Old Norse *hlenkr or a similar Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse hlekkr "link," Old Swedish lænker "chain, link," Norwegian lenke, Danish lænke), from Proto-Germanic *khlink- (cf. German lenken "to bend, turn, lead," gelenk "articulation, joint, link," Old English hlencan (plural) "armor"), from PIE root *kleng- "to bend, turn." Missing link between man and apes dates to 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

links in Science



A segment of text or a graphical item that serves as a cross-reference between parts of a webpage or other hypertext documents or between webpages or other hypertext documents.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.