chain Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “chain” - English Dictionary

"chain" in American English

See all translations

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 British English

See all translations

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.

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 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 Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"chain" in Business English

See all translations

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)
What is the pronunciation of chain?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“chain” in Business English

Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
by ,
May 25, 2016
by Liz Walter Enough is a very common word, but it is easy to make mistakes with it. You need to be careful about its position in a sentence, and the prepositions or verb patterns that come after it. I’ll start with the position of enough in the sentence. When we use it with a noun,

Read More 

Word of the Day

ray

a narrow beam of light, heat, etc. travelling in a straight line from its place of origin

Word of the Day

convo noun
convo noun
May 23, 2016
informal a conversation The convo around concussions mostly focuses on guys who play football, but Chastain thinks that this whole thing could be a headache for women too.

Read More