Meaning of CHAIN in English


— chainless , adj. — chainlike , adj.

/chayn/ , n.

1. a series of objects connected one after the other, usually in the form of a series of metal rings passing through one another, used either for various purposes requiring a flexible tie with high tensile strength, as for hauling, supporting, or confining, or in various ornamental and decorative forms.

2. Often, chains . something that binds or restrains; bond: the chain of timidity; the chains of loyalty.

3. chains ,

a. shackles or fetters: to place a prisoner in chains.

b. bondage; servitude: to live one's life in chains.

c. Naut. (in a sailing vessel) the area outboard at the foot of the shrouds of a mast: the customary position of the leadsman in taking soundings.

d. See tire chain .

4. a series of things connected or following in succession: a chain of events.

5. a range of mountains.

6. a number of similar establishments, as banks, theaters, or hotels, under one ownership or management.

7. Chem. two or more atoms of the same element, usually carbon, attached as in a chain. Cf. ring 1 (def. 17).

8. Survey. , Civ. Engin.

a. a distance-measuring device consisting of a chain of 100 links of equal length, having a total length either of 66 ft. (20 m) (Gunter's chain or surveyor's chain) or of 100 ft. (30 m) (engineer's chain) .

b. a unit of length equal to either of these.

c. a graduated steel tape used for distance measurements. Abbr.: ch

9. Math. See totally ordered set .

10. Football. a chain 10 yd. (9 m) in length for determining whether a first down has been earned.

11. drag the chain , Australian Slang. to lag behind or shirk one's fair share of work.

12. in the chains , Naut. standing outboard on the channels or in some similar place to heave the lead to take soundings.


13. to fasten or secure with a chain: to chain a dog to a post.

14. to confine or restrain: His work chained him to his desk.

15. Survey. to measure (a distance on the ground) with a chain or tape.

16. Computers. to link (related items, as records in a file or portions of a program) together, esp. so that items can be run in sequence.

17. to make (a chain stitch or series of chain stitches), as in crocheting.


18. to form or make a chain.

[ 1250-1300; ME chayne chaeine catena fetter; see CATENA ]

Syn. 4. sequence, succession, train, set.

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .