chain Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “chain” in the English Dictionary

"chain" in British English

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chainnoun

uk   /tʃeɪn/ us   /tʃeɪn/
  • 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.

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  • 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.

chainverb [T usually + adv/prep]

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

"chain" in American English

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chainnoun [C]

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

a length of metal rings 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 connected rings worn 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 life forever.

chainverb [T]

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

to tie or connect together with a chain: An old bicycle was chained to a post near the front door.
If you are chained to something, you work for long periods 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

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chainnoun [C]

uk   /tʃeɪn/ us  
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/department stores
a system of people, processes, or organizations that work together in a particular order: This unit examines 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 house sellers refuse to exchange contracts with buyers who are in a chain
(Definition of chain from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“chain” in Business English

Watching the detectorists
Watching the detectorists
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May 31, 2016
by Colin McIntosh You could be forgiven for thinking that old-fashioned hobbies that don’t involve computers have fallen out of favour. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, the internet has made it easier for people with specialist hobbies from different corners of the world to come together to support one another

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