Meaning of CHAIN in English

CHAIN

/ tʃeɪn; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun

METAL RINGS

1.

[ C , U ] a series of connected metal rings, used for pulling or fastening things; a length of chain used for a particular purpose :

a short length of chain

She wore a heavy gold chain around her neck.

The mayor wore his chain of office.

a bicycle chain

The prisoners were kept in chains (= with chains around their arms and legs, to prevent them from escaping) .

—picture at bicycle , jewellery

CONNECTED THINGS

2.

[ C ] a series of connected things or people :

to set in motion a chain of events

a chain of command (= a system in an organization by which instructions are passed from one person to another)

mountain / island chains

Volunteers formed a human chain to rescue precious items from the burning house.

—see also food chain

OF SHOPS / HOTELS

3.

[ C ] a group of shops / stores or hotels owned by the same company :

a chain of supermarkets / a supermarket chain

RESTRICTION

4.

[ C , usually pl. ] ( formal or literary ) a thing that restricts sb's freedom or ability to do sth :

the chains of fear / misery

IN HOUSE BUYING

5.

[ C , usually sing. ] ( BrE ) a situation in which a number of people selling and buying houses must each complete the sale of their house before buying from the next person

IDIOMS

see ball noun , link noun , weak

■ verb

[ vn ] [ often passive ] chain sb/sth (to sb/sth) | chain sb/sth (up) to fasten sth with a chain; to fasten sb/sth to another person or thing with a chain, so that they do not escape or get stolen :

The doors were always locked and chained.

She chained her bicycle to the gate.

The dog was chained up for the night.

( figurative )

I've been chained to my desk all week (= because there was so much work) .

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WORD ORIGIN

Middle English : from Old French chaine , chaeine , from Latin catena a chain.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.