from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A series of events in which each induces or influences the next.
- n. Physics A multistage nuclear reaction, especially a self-sustaining series of fissions in which the release of neutrons from the splitting of one atom leads to the splitting of others.
- n. Chemistry A series of reactions in which one product of a reacting set is a reactant in the following set.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A nuclear reaction in which particles produced by the fission of one atom trigger fissions of other atoms.
- n. A series of events, each one causing the next.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a self-sustaining nuclear reaction; a series of nuclear fissions in which neutrons released by splitting one atom leads to the splitting of others
- n. a series of chemical reactions in which the product of one is a reactant in the next
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Kuran and Sunstein defined the term as a “self-reinforcing process of collective belief formation by which an expressed perception triggers a chain reaction that gives the perception increasing plausibility through its rising availability in public discourse.”
We must dilute this boof before it starts a chain reaction and blows New Orleans into the Gulf.
The test had been the fast version, the polymerase chain reaction test, but it was still virtually conclusive; the odds were about six thousand to one that the body in front of them was Stephen Kall.
The same couldn’t be said for June Bug’s sister Louisa, who vomited until she had the dry heaves, or for Jimmy Norris, whose amazing noises when he threw up were so awful that he started a chain reaction among the rest of the Sentinels.
As part of its work, the research team used a highly sensitive technique that relied on something called a polymerase chain reaction PCR.