AskDefine | Define chain

Dictionary Definition

chain

Noun

1 a series of things depending on each other as if linked together; "the chain of command"; "a complicated concatenation of circumstances" [syn: concatenation]
2 (chemistry) a series of linked atoms (generally in an organic molecule) [syn: chemical chain]
3 a series of (usually metal) rings or links fitted into one another to make a flexible ligament
4 a number of similar establishments (stores or restaurants or banks or hotels or theaters) under one ownership
5 anything that acts as a restraint
6 a unit of length
7 British biochemist (born in Germany) who isolated and purified penicillin, which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming (1906-1979) [syn: Ernst Boris Chain, Sir Ernst Boris Chain]
8 a series of hills or mountains; "the valley was between two ranges of hills"; "the plains lay just beyond the mountain range" [syn: range, mountain range, range of mountains, mountain chain, chain of mountains]
9 metal shackles; for hands or legs [syn: iron, irons, chains]
10 a necklace made by a stringing objects together; "a string of beads"; "a strand of pearls"; [syn: string, strand]

Verb

1 connect or arrange into a chain by linking
2 fasten or secure with chains; "Chain the chairs together" [ant: unchain]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From chaeine (French: chaîne), from catena.

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. A series of interconnected rings or links usually made of metal.
    He wore a gold chain around the neck.
  2. A series of interconnected things.
    This led to an unfortunate chain of events.
  3. A series of stores or businesses with the same brand name.
    That chain of restaurants is expanding into our town.
  4. A number of atoms in a series, which combine to form a molecule.
    When examined, the molecular chain included oxygen and hydrogen.
  5. A series of interconnected links of known length, used as a measuring device.
  6. A long measuring tape.
  7. A unit of length equal to 22 yards. The length of a commonly used surveying chain. The length of a cricket pitch. Equal to 17.85 metres. Equal to 4 rods.
a series of interconnected rings or links
a series of interconnected things
a series of stores or businesses with the same brand name
  • Bulgarian: верига
  • Czech: řetězec
  • Dutch: keten
  • Finnish: ketju, kauppaketju
  • French: chaîne
  • German: Kette
  • Hebrew: רשת (réshet)
  • Italian: catena
  • Japanese: チェーン (chēn)
  • Polish: sieć
  • Portuguese: cadeia
  • Russian: сеть (set’)
  • Slovene: veriga
a number of atoms in a series, which combine to form a molecule
  • Breton: chadenn
  • Bulgarian: верига
  • Czech: řetězec
  • French: chaîne
  • German: Kette
  • Latvian: virkne
  • Portuguese: cadeia
  • Russian: цепочка (tsepóčka)
  • Slovene: veriga

Verb

  1. To fasten something with a chain
  2. To link multiple items together
  3. To secure someone with fetters
  4. To obstruct the mouth of a river etc with a chain
  5. To relate data items with a chain of pointers; to be chained to another data item
  6. To measure a distance using a 66-foot long chain, as in land surveying

Translations

To link together

References

  • OED 2nd edition 1989

Extensive Definition

A chain is a series of connected links. This article is about the literal, physical chain. A chain may consist of two or more links.
A chain is usually made of metal.
Chains are usually made in one of two styles, according to their intended use:
  • Those designed for lifting, such as when used with a hoist; for pulling; or for securing, such as with a bicycle lock, have links that are torus shaped, which makes the chain flexible in two dimensions.
  • Those designed for transferring power in machines have links designed to mesh with the teeth of the sprockets of the machine, and are flexible in only one dimension. They are known as Roller chains.
Chains can also be decorative as jewellery.

Uses for Chain

Specific uses for chain include:
  • Bicycle chain, chain that transfers power from the pedals to the drive-wheel of a bicycle thus propelling it
  • Chain drive, the main feature that differentiated the safety bicycle
  • Chain gun, type of machine gun that utilizes a chain, driven by an external power source, to actuate the mechanism rather than using recoil
  • Chain pumps, type of water pump where an endless chain has positioned on it circular discs
  • Chain-linked Lewis, lifting device made from two curved steel legs
  • Chainsaw, portable mechanical, motorized saw
  • Curb chain, used on curb bits when riding a horse
  • Door chain, a type of security chain on a door that makes it possible to open a door from the inside while still making it difficult for someone outside to force his or her way inside
  • Keychain, a small chain that connects a small item to a keyring
  • Lead shank (or "Stud chain"), used on difficult horses that are misbehaving
  • O-ring chain, a specialized type of roller chain
  • Roller chain, the type of chain most commonly used for transmission of mechanical power on bicycles, motorcycles, and in industrial and agricultural machinery
  • Snow chains, used to improve traction in snow
  • Timing chain, used to transfer rotational position from the crankshaft to the valve and ignition system on an internal combustion engine, typically with a 2:1 speed reduction.
  • Ball and chain, phrase that can refer to either the actual restraint device that was used to slow down prisoners, or a derogatory description of a person's significant other
  • Bicycle lock (or "bicycle chain"), lockable chain
  • Leg iron chains (Fetters), an alternative to handcuffs
  • Chain link fencing, type of fencing that utilizes vertical wires that are bent in a zig zag fashion and linked to each other
  • Chain of office, collar or heavy gold chain worn as insignia of office or a mark of fealty in medieval Europe and the United Kingdom
  • Chain weapon, a medieval weapon made of one or more weights attached to a handle with a chain
  • Nunchaku, karate sticks linked by a chain
  • Omega chain, a pseudo-chain where the 'links' are mounted on a backing rather than being interlinked
  • Pull switch, an electrical switch operated by a chain
  • Flat chain, form of chain used chiefly in agricultural machinery
  • Decorating clothing, some people wear wallets with chains connected to their belts, or pants decorated with chains
  • Jewelry, many necklaces and bracelets are made out of small chains of gold and silver
  • Jack chain, a toothed chain used to move logs
  • Ladder chain, a light wire chain used with sprockets for low torque power transmission
chain in Guarani: Itasã
chain in Bulgarian: Верига
chain in Catalan: Cadena
chain in German: Kette
chain in Estonian: Kett
chain in Modern Greek (1453-): Αλυσίδα
chain in Spanish: Cadena (objeto)
chain in Esperanto: Ĉeno
chain in French: Chaîne (mécanique)
chain in Hebrew: שרשרת
chain in Lithuanian: Grandinė
chain in Japanese: 鎖
chain in Norwegian: Kjetting
chain in Norwegian Nynorsk: Kjetting
chain in Polish: Łańcuch (mechanika)
chain in Portuguese: Corrente metálica
chain in Finnish: Ketju
chain in Swedish: Kedja

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Alps, Andes, Caucasus, Himalayas, Indian file, Kekule formula, Oregon boat, Rockies, accouple, accumulate, accumulative, additive, additory, agglutinate, alps on alps, alternation, amass, anchor, andiron, anklet, armlet, armory, array, arrest, articulate, articulation, assemble, associate, atomic cluster, badge, badge of office, badges, band, bandage, bangle, bank, baton, batten, batten down, be continuous, beads, bearing rein, belay, belt, bend, benzene ring, bijou, bilbo, bind, bind up, bit, blazonry, bond, bonds, brace, bracelet, bracket, brake, branched chain, brassard, breastpin, bridge, bridge over, bridle, brooch, bundle, button, buzz, camisole, cap and gown, cartel, catena, catenate, catenation, cement, chain of office, chain reaction, chaining, chains, chaplet, charm, chatelaine, check, checkrein, chock, cinch, circle, clap together, class ring, cliched, clog, closed chain, coal tongs, cockade, collar, collect, combination, combine, commonplace, compound radical, comprise, concatenate, concatenation, confine, confinement, conglobulate, conglomerate, conjoin, conjugate, connect, connect up, connection, consecution, continuate, continue, continuum, control, copulate, cordillera, coronet, countercheck, couple, course, cover, crane, crook, cross, crown, cuffs, curb, curb bit, cycle, damper, decoration, descent, diadem, do up, doorstop, drag, drag sail, dress, drift anchor, drift sail, drogue, drone, eagle, earring, emblems, embrace, enchain, encompass, endless belt, endless round, ensigns, entrammel, fasces, fasten, fasten down, fetter, fetters, figurehead, file, filiation, fire hook, fire tongs, firedog, fleur-de-lis, fob, form a series, gag, gamut, gather, gem, gird, girdle, girt, girth, glue, gradation, grate, grating, grid, griddle, gridiron, grill, griller, group, gyve, gyves, hackneyed, halter, hammer and sickle, hamper, handcuff, handcuffs, heraldry, heterocycle, hobble, hobbles, hog-tie, holdback, homocycle, hopple, hopples, hum, include, insignia, irons, jewel, join, knot, lace, lapel pin, lash, lattice, lay together, leading strings, league, leash, lifter, limit, line, lineage, link, livery, locket, lump together, mace, maintain continuity, make fast, make secure, make sure, manacle, mantle, markings, marry, marshal, martingale, mass, massif, medal, merge, mobilize, molecule, monotone, moor, mortarboard, mountain range, muzzle, necklace, nexus, nose ring, old hat, old school tie, order, pair, peg down, pelham, pendulum, periodicity, picket, piece together, pillory, pin, pin down, pinion, plenum, poker, pool, pothook, powder train, precious stone, progression, put in irons, put together, queue, radical, range, rank, recurrence, regalia, reins, restrain, restraint, restraints, restrict, reticulation, rhinestone, ring, roll into one, rope, rose, rotation, round, routine, row, run, run on, salamander, scale, school ring, scotch, sea anchor, secure, sequence, series, set, shackle, shamrock, shopworn, side chain, sierra, sigillography, simple radical, single file, skull and crossbones, snaffle, solder, space-lattice, span, spectrum, sphragistics, spit, splice, spoke, staff, stale, stay, stereotyped, stick together, stickpin, stocks, stone, stop, straight chain, straightjacket, strait-waistcoat, straitjacket, stranglehold, strap, string, string together, succession, summative, swaddle, swastika, swath, swathe, take in, tape, tartan, tether, thistle, thread, tiara, tie, tie down, tie up, tier, tongs, torque, train, trammel, trammels, tripod, trivet, truss, trust, turnspit, twice-told, uniform, unify, unite, verge, wampum, wand, weld, windrow, wire, wrap, wrap up, wristband, wristlet, yoke
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