chain Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “chain” in the English Dictionary

"chain" in British English

See all translations

chainnoun

uk   us   /tʃeɪn/
  • chain noun (CONNECTED THINGS)

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

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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 ​limitingfreedom, or as ​jewellery: The ​gates were ​locked with a ​padlock and a ​heavysteel chain. Put the chain on the ​door if you are ​alone in the ​house. Mary was ​wearing a ​beautifulsilver 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 ​authoritarianregime.
  • 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 ​selltheirhouse first: Some ​sellersrefuse to ​exchangecontracts with ​buyers who are in a chain.

chainverb [T usually + adv/prep]

uk   us   /tʃeɪn/
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 tolampposts 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"chain" in American English

See all translations

chainnoun [C]

 us   /tʃeɪn/
  • chain noun [C] (CONNECTED RINGS)

a ​length of ​metalrings that are ​connected together and used for ​fastening or ​supporting, and in ​machinery: She looped the chain around her ​bike and ​locked it to the ​fence. A chain is also a ​length of ​connectedringsworn as ​jewelry: Mary ​wore a ​silver chain around her ​neck.
  • chain noun [C] (RELATED THINGS)

a set of ​connected or ​related things: a ​mountain chain a chain of ​supermarkets That set in ​motion a chain of ​events that ​changed her ​lifeforever.

chainverb [T]

 us   /tʃeɪn/
  • chain verb [T] (ATTACH)

to ​tie or ​connect together with a chain: An ​oldbicycle was chained to a ​post near the ​frontdoor. If you are chained to something, you ​work for ​longperiods with it: I had no ​intention of ​spending my ​day chained to the ​stove.
(Definition of chain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"chain" in Business English

See all translations

chainnoun [C]

uk   us   /tʃeɪn/
COMMERCE a ​group of similar ​businesses, such as ​restaurants or ​hotels, which are all ​owned and ​controlled by the same ​organization: hotel/supermarket/fast-food chain The well-known fast-food chain has ​expanded to over 20,000 ​restaurants in 17 countries. chain ​restaurants/​stores/​retailers a chain of ​supermarkets/​bookstores/​departmentstores
a ​system of ​people, ​processes, or ​organizations that ​work together in a particular ​order: This ​unitexamines the ​stages in the chain of ​production of tea, from the ​leaves in Sri Lanka to the cup in the UK.chain of command/power/authority Employee ​complaints were taken all the way up the ​corporate chain of ​command.
UK PROPERTY a ​situation in which someone cannot complete the ​sale of their ​house because the ​person who ​wants to ​buy it ​needs to ​sell their ​house first: Some ​housesellersrefuse to ​exchangecontracts with ​buyers who are in a chain
(Definition of chain from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of chain?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“chain” in Business English

Word of the Day

drum

a musical instrument, especially one made from a skin stretched over the end of a hollow tube or bowl, played by hitting with the hand or a stick

Word of the Day

I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
by Kate Woodford,
February 10, 2016
On this blog, we like to look at words and phrases in the English language that learners often have difficulty with. Two phrases that can be confused are ‘used to do something’ and ‘be used to something/doing something’. People often use one phrase when they mean the other, or they use the wrong

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More