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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (10)

1. a series of things depending on each other as if linked together;
- Example: "the chain of command"
- Example: "a complicated concatenation of circumstances"
[syn: chain, concatenation]

2. (chemistry) a series of linked atoms (generally in an organic molecule);
[syn: chain, chemical chain]

3. a series of (usually metal) rings or links fitted into one another to make a flexible ligament;

4. (business) 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: Chain, Ernst Boris Chain, Sir Ernst Boris Chain]

8. a series of hills or mountains;
- Example: "the valley was between two ranges of hills"
- Example: "the plains lay just beyond the mountain range"
[syn: range, mountain range, range of mountains, chain, mountain chain, chain of mountains]

9. a linked or connected series of objects;
- Example: "a chain of daisies"

10. a necklace made by a stringing objects together;
- Example: "a string of beads"
- Example: "a strand of pearls";
[syn: chain, string, strand]


VERB (2)

1. connect or arrange into a chain by linking;

2. fasten or secure with chains;
- Example: "Chain the chairs together"


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Chain \Chain\ (ch[=a]n), n. [F. cha[^i]ne, fr. L. catena. Cf. Catenate.] 1. A series of links or rings, usually of metal, connected, or fitted into one another, used for various purposes, as of support, of restraint, of ornament, of the exertion and transmission of mechanical power, etc. [1913 Webster] [They] put a chain of gold about his neck. --Dan. v. 29. [1913 Webster] 2. That which confines, fetters, or secures, as a chain; a bond; as, the chains of habit. [1913 Webster] Driven down To chains of darkness and the undying worm. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 3. A series of things linked together; or a series of things connected and following each other in succession; as, a chain of mountains; a chain of events or ideas. [1913 Webster] 4. (Surv.) An instrument which consists of links and is used in measuring land. [1913 Webster] Note: One commonly in use is Gunter's chain, which consists of one hundred links, each link being seven inches and ninety-two one hundredths in length; making up the total length of rods, or sixty-six, feet; hence, a measure of that length; hence, also, a unit for land measure equal to four rods square, or one tenth of an acre. [1913 Webster] 5. pl. (Naut.) Iron links bolted to the side of a vessel to bold the dead-eyes connected with the shrouds; also, the channels. [1913 Webster] 6. (Weaving) The warp threads of a web. --Knight. [1913 Webster] Chain belt (Mach.), a belt made of a chain; -- used for transmitting power. Chain boat, a boat fitted up for recovering lost cables, anchors, etc. Chain bolt (a) (Naut.) The bolt at the lower end of the chain plate, which fastens it to the vessel's side. (b) A bolt with a chain attached for drawing it out of position. Chain bond. See Chain timber. Chain bridge, a bridge supported by chain cables; a suspension bridge. Chain cable, a cable made of iron links. Chain coral (Zool.), a fossil coral of the genus Halysites, common in the middle and upper Silurian rocks. The tubular corallites are united side by side in groups, looking in an end view like links of a chain. When perfect, the calicles show twelve septa. Chain coupling. (a) A shackle for uniting lengths of chain, or connecting a chain with an object. (b) (Railroad) Supplementary coupling together of cars with a chain. Chain gang, a gang of convicts chained together. Chain hook (Naut.), a hook, used for dragging cables about the deck. Chain mail, flexible, defensive armor of hammered metal links wrought into the form of a garment. Chain molding (Arch.), a form of molding in imitation of a chain, used in the Normal style. Chain pier, a pier suspended by chain. Chain pipe (Naut.), an opening in the deck, lined with iron, through which the cable is passed into the lockers or tiers. Chain plate (Shipbuilding), one of the iron plates or bands, on a vessel's side, to which the standing rigging is fastened. Chain pulley, a pulley with depressions in the periphery of its wheel, or projections from it, made to fit the links of a chain. Chain pumps. See in the Vocabulary. Chain rule (Arith.), a theorem for solving numerical problems by composition of ratios, or compound proportion, by which, when several ratios of equality are given, the consequent of each being the same as the antecedent of the next, the relation between the first antecedent and the last consequent is discovered. Chain shot (Mil.), two cannon balls united by a shot chain, formerly used in naval warfare on account of their destructive effect on a ship's rigging. Chain stitch. See in the Vocabulary. Chain timber. (Arch.) See Bond timber, under Bond. Chain wales. (Naut.) Same as Channels. Chain wheel. See in the Vocabulary. Closed chain, Open chain (Chem.), terms applied to the chemical structure of compounds whose rational formul[ae] are written respectively in the form of a closed ring (see Benzene nucleus, under Benzene), or in an open extended form. Endless chain, a chain whose ends have been united by a link. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Chain \Chain\, v. t. [imp. p. p. Chained (ch[=a]nd); p. pr. & vb. n. Chaining.] 1. To fasten, bind, or connect with a chain; to fasten or bind securely, as with a chain; as, to chain a bulldog. [1913 Webster] Chained behind the hostile car. --Prior. [1913 Webster] 2. To keep in slavery; to enslave. [1913 Webster] And which more blest? who chained his country, say Or he whose virtue sighed to lose a day? --Pope. [1913 Webster] 3. To unite closely and strongly. [1913 Webster] And in this vow do chain my soul to thine. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 4. (Surveying) To measure with the chain. [1913 Webster] 5. To protect by drawing a chain across, as a harbor. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

chain n 1: a series of things depending on each other as if linked together; "the chain of command"; "a complicated concatenation of circumstances" [syn: chain, concatenation] 2: (chemistry) a series of linked atoms (generally in an organic molecule) [syn: chain, chemical chain] 3: a series of (usually metal) rings or links fitted into one another to make a flexible ligament 4: (business) 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: Chain, 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, chain, mountain chain, chain of mountains] 9: a linked or connected series of objects; "a chain of daisies" 10: a necklace made by a stringing objects together; "a string of beads"; "a strand of pearls"; [syn: chain, string, strand] v 1: connect or arrange into a chain by linking 2: fasten or secure with chains; "Chain the chairs together" [ant: unchain]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

384 Moby Thesaurus words for "chain": 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
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):

chain 1. vi. [orig. from BASIC's CHAIN statement] To hand off execution to a child or successor without going through the OS command interpreter that invoked it. The state of the parent program is lost and there is no returning to it. Though this facility used to be common on memory-limited micros and is still widely supported for backward compatibility, the jargon usage is semi-obsolescent; in particular, most Unix programmers will think of this as an exec. Oppose the more modern subshell. 2. n. A series of linked data areas within an operating system or application. Chain rattling is the process of repeatedly running through the linked data areas searching for one which is of interest to the executing program. The implication is that there is a very large number of links on the chain.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

chain 1. (From BASIC's "CHAIN" statement) To pass control to a child or successor without going through the operating system command interpreter that invoked you. The state of the parent program is lost and there is no returning to it. Though this facility used to be common on memory-limited microcomputers and is still widely supported for backward compatibility, the jargon usage is semi-obsolescent; in particular, Unix calls this exec. Compare with the more modern "subshell". 2. A series of linked data areas within an operating system or application program. "Chain rattling" is the process of repeatedly running through the linked data areas searching for one which is of interest. The implication is that there are many links in the chain. 3. A possibly infinite, non-decreasing sequence of elements of some total ordering, S x0 <= x1 <= x2 ... A chain satisfies: for all x,y in S, x <= y \/ y <= x. I.e. any two elements of a chain are related. ("<=" is written in LaTeX as \sqsubseteq). [Jargon File] (1995-02-03)
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:

Chain (1.) A part of the insignia of office. A chain of gold was placed about Joseph's neck (Gen. 41:42); and one was promised to Daniel (5:7). It is used as a symbol of sovereignty (Ezek. 16:11). The breast-plate of the high-priest was fastened to the ephod by golden chains (Ex. 39:17, 21). (2.) It was used as an ornament (Prov. 1:9; Cant. 1:10). The Midianites adorned the necks of their camels with chains (Judg. 8:21, 26). (3.) Chains were also used as fetters wherewith prisoners were bound (Judg. 16:21; 2 Sam. 3:34; 2 Kings 25:7; Jer. 39:7). Paul was in this manner bound to a Roman soldier (Acts 28:20; Eph. 6:20; 2 Tim. 1:16). Sometimes, for the sake of greater security, the prisoner was attached by two chains to two soldiers, as in the case of Peter (Acts 12:6).