Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: chaeine, from Latin catena


1 noun
chain1 S3 W2

joined rings

[uncountable and countable]D a series of metal rings which are joined together in a line and used for fastening things, supporting weights, decoration etc [↪ link]:
She had a gold chain around her neck.
a length of heavy chain
the Mayor's chain of office (=a decoration worn by some British officials at ceremonies)
pull the chain (=flush the toilet) British English
a bicycle chain (=that makes the wheels turn)

connected events

[countable] a connected series of events or actions, especially which lead to a final result:
the chain of events that led to World War I
The salesmen are just one link in the chain (=part of a process) of distribution.
a rather complicated chain of reasoning
chain of command, food chain


[countable]BBC a number of shops, hotels, cinemas etc owned or managed by the same company or person
chain of
a chain of restaurants
hotel/restaurant/retail etc chain
several major UK supermarket chains
chain store

connected line

[countable]SG people or things which are connected or next to each other forming a line
mountain/island chain
the Andean mountain chain
chain of atoms/molecules etc technical:
a chain of amino acids
They formed a human chain (=a line of people who pass things from one person to the next) to move the equipment.
daisy chains (=flowers tied together)


[countable usually plural]SCJ metal chains fastened to the legs and arms of a prisoner, to prevent them from escaping
in chains
He was led away in chains.
ball and chain (=a chain attached to someone's ankle at one end with a heavy metal ball at the other)

buying a house

[countable usually singular] British English a number of people buying houses, where each person must complete the sale of their own house before they can buy the next person's house

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