Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “chain”

chain

noun uk   /tʃeɪn/ us  

chain noun (CONNECTED THINGS)

B2 [C] a set of connected or related things: She has built up a chain of 180 bookshops across the country. His resignation was followed by a remarkable chain of events.

chain noun (RINGS)

A2 [C or U] (a length of) rings usually made of metal that are connected together and used for fastening, pulling, supporting, or limiting freedom, or as jewellery: The gates were locked with a padlock and a heavy steel chain. Put the chain on the door if you are alone in the house. Mary was wearing a beautiful silver chain around her neck. in chains tied with chains: The hostages were kept in chains for 23 hours a day. [plural] a fact or situation that limits a person's freedom: At last the country has freed itself from the chains of the authoritarian regime.

chain noun (HOUSE SALE)

[C] UK a situation in which someone selling a house cannot complete the sale because the person who wants to buy it needs to sell their house first: Some sellers refuse to exchange contracts with buyers who are in a chain.

chain

verb [T usually + adv/prep] uk   /tʃeɪn/ us  
to fasten someone or something using a chain: It's so cruel to keep a pony chained up like that all the time. They chained themselves to lampposts in protest at the judge's decision.figurative I don't want a job where I'm chained to a desk for eight hours a day.
(Definition of chain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of chain?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Fastening and tying, but you might be interested in these topics from the Cutting and joining topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “chain” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

debut

the occasion when someone performs or presents something to the public for the first time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More