from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A closely linked series, especially of excerpted writings or commentaries.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A series of related items.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A chain or series of things connected with each other.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A chain; a connected series of notions, arguments, or objects generally; a series of which each part or member has a close connection, like that of a link, with the preceding and following parts.
  • n. A methodized series of selections from different authors to elucidate a doctrine or a system of doctrines; specifically, such a set of quotations from the church fathers to assist in the study of Christian dogmatics or biblical exegesis: as, the Catena Aurea of St. Thomas Aquinas.
  • n. An Italian measure of length, a chain, equal in Naples to 52.07 feet, and in Palermo to 26.09 feet.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a chain of connected ideas or passages or objects so arranged that each member is closely related to the preceding and following members (especially a series of patristic comments elucidating Christian dogma)


Latin catēna, chain.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin, from Latin catēna ("chain") (from which also chain). (Wiktionary)



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  • In New Pagan lit's strange arena
    They work for an antique patina.
    They'll quote and they'll cite
    By wizard and rite
    To build up a mystic catena.

    September 22, 2016

  • Italian - chain.

    September 23, 2008