from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A connected, flexible series of links, typically of metal, used especially for holding objects together or restraining or for transmitting mechanical power.
- n. Such a set of links, often of precious metal and with pendants attached, worn as an ornament or symbol of office.
- n. A restraining or confining agent or force.
- n. Bonds, fetters, or shackles.
- n. Captivity or oppression; bondage: threw off the chains of slavery.
- n. A series of closely linked or connected things: a chain of coincidences. See Synonyms at series.
- n. A number of establishments, such as stores, theaters, or hotels, under common ownership or management.
- n. A range of mountains.
- n. Chemistry A group of atoms bonded in a spatial configuration like links in a chain.
- n. An instrument used in surveying, consisting of 100 linked pieces of iron or steel and measuring 66 feet (20.1 meters). Also called Gunter's chain.
- n. A similar instrument used in engineering, measuring 100 feet (30.5 meters).
- n. A unit of measurement equal to the length of either of these instruments.
- transitive v. To bind or make fast with a chain or chains: chained the dog to a tree.
- transitive v. To restrain or confine as if with chains: workers who were chained to a life of dull routine.
- idiom pull To take unfair advantage of someone; deceive or manipulate someone.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A series of interconnected rings or links usually made of metal.
- n. A series of interconnected things.
- n. A series of stores or businesses with the same brand name.
- n. A number of atoms in a series, which combine to form a molecule.
- n. A series of interconnected links of known length, used as a measuring device.
- n. A long measuring tape.
- n. A unit of length equal to 22 yards. The length of a Gunter's surveying chain. The length of a cricket pitch. Equal to 20.12 metres. Equal to 4 rods. Equal to 100 links.
- n. A totally ordered set, esp. a totally ordered subset of a poset.
- n. A sequence of linked house purchases, each of which is dependent on the preceding and succeeding purchase (said to be "broken" if a buyer or seller pulls out).
- v. To fasten something with a chain.
- v. To link multiple items together.
- v. To secure someone with fetters.
- v. To obstruct the mouth of a river etc with a chain.
- v. To relate data items with a chain of pointers.
- v. To be chained to another data item.
- v. To measure a distance using a 66-foot long chain, as in land surveying.
- v. To load and automatically run (a program).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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 transmission of mechanical power, etc.
- n. That which confines, fetters, or secures, as a chain; a bond.
- n. A series of things linked together; or a series of things connected and following each other in succession.
- n. An instrument which consists of links and is used in measuring land.
- n. Iron links bolted to the side of a vessel to bold the dead-eyes connected with the shrouds; also, the channels.
- n. The warp threads of a web.
- transitive v. To fasten, bind, or connect with a chain; to fasten or bind securely, as with a chain.
- transitive v. To keep in slavery; to enslave.
- transitive v. To unite closely and strongly.
- transitive v. To measure with the chain.
- transitive v. To protect by drawing a chain across, as a harbor.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A connected series of links of metal or other material, serving the purposes of a band, cord, rope, or cable in connecting, confining, restraining, supporting, drawing, transmitting mechanical power, etc., or for ornamental purposes.
- n. Figuratively, that which binds, confines, restrains, fetters, or draws; specifically, in the plural, fetters; bonds; bondage; slavery: as, bound by the chains of evil habit.
- n. In surveying, a measuring instrument, generally consisting of 100 links, each 7.92 inches (see Gunter's chain, below), or, as commonly in the United States, one foot, in length.
- n. In weaving, the warp-threads of a web: so called because they form a long series of links or loops.
- n. A series of things, material or immaterial, linked together; a series, line, or range of things connected or following in succession; a concatenation or coördinate sequence: as, a chain of causes, events, or arguments; a chain of evidence; a chain of mountains or of fortifications.
- n. In chem., a group of atoms of the same kind assumed to be joined to one another by chemical force without the intervention of atoms of a different kind.
- n. pl. Naut., strong bars or plates of iron bolted at the lower end to the ship's side, and at the upper end secured to the iron straps of the wooden blocks called deadeyes, by which the shrouds supporting the masts are extended. Formerly, instead of bars, chains were used; hence the name. Same as chain-plates.
- n. Synonyms See shackle.
- To fasten, bind, restrain, or fetter with a chain or chains: as, to chain floating logs together; to chain a dog; to chain prisoners.
- To unite firmly; link.
- To hold by superior force, moral or physical; keep in bondage or slavery; enthrall; enslave.
- To restrain; hold in check; control.
- To block up or obstruct with a chain, as a passage or the entrance to a harbor.
- n. A ruff of recurved feathers adorning the neck of some breeds of pigeons, such as the jacobin.
- n. An abbreviation of mountain-chain and volcanic chain.
- n. A collection or continuum which has reference to a certain mode of correspondence such that no one individual or point corresponds to more than one individual or point, this mode of correspondence being thought of as a sort of mapping such that one part of the map may coincide with another, but no part of the collection or continuum mapped is represented twice over on the map.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (business) a number of similar establishments (stores or restaurants or banks or hotels or theaters) under one ownership
- n. (chemistry) a series of linked atoms (generally in an organic molecule)
- n. a unit of length
- n. anything that acts as a restraint
- n. British biochemist (born in Germany) who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1906-1979)
- n. a linked or connected series of objects
- v. connect or arrange into a chain by linking
- n. a series of things depending on each other as if linked together
- n. a series of (usually metal) rings or links fitted into one another to make a flexible ligament
- n. a series of hills or mountains
- v. fasten or secure with chains
- n. a necklace made by a stringing objects together
Middle English chaine, from Old French, from Latin catēna.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English chaine, from Old French chaine, chaene ("chain"; Modern French: chaîne), from Latin catēna ("chain"), from Proto-Indo-European *kat- (“to braid, twist; hut, shed”). Cognate with North Frisian ketten ("chain"), Dutch keten ("chain"), Low German Kede ("chain"), German Kette ("chain"), Danish kæde ("chain"), Swedish kedja ("chain"), Icelandic keðja ("chain"). (Wiktionary)