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chain US English

A connected flexible series of metal links used for fastening or securing objects and pulling or supporting loads

chain US Thesaurus

he was held in chains

Chain, Sir Ernst Boris US English

(1906–79), British biochemist; born in Germany. With Howard Florey, he isolated and purified penicillin. Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (1945), shared with Florey and Alexander Fleming

chain gun US English

A machine gun that uses a motor-driven chain to power all moving parts

chain drive US English

A mechanism in which power is transmitted from an engine, typically to the wheels of a vehicle or a boat’s propeller, by means of a moving endless chain

chain gang US English

A group of convicts chained together while working outside the prison

chain gear US English

A gear transmitting motion by means of a moving endless chain, especially on a bicycle

chain-link US English

Made of wire in a diamond-shaped mesh

chain mail US English

Armor made of small metal rings linked together

chain shot US English

Pairs of cannonballs or half balls joined by a chain, fired from cannons in sea battles in order to damage masts and rigging

chain-smoke US English

Smoke continually, especially by lighting a new cigarette from the butt of the last one smoked

chain store US English

One of a series of stores owned by one company and selling the same merchandise

chain wheel US English

A toothed wheel transmitting power by means of a chain fitted to its edges

choke chain US English

A chain formed into a loop by passing one end through a ring on the other, placed around a dog’s neck to exert control by causing pressure on the windpipe when the dog pulls

curb chain US English

A small chain which is attached to a curb bit and lies in the groove on a horse’s chin

daisy chain US English

A string of daisies threaded together by their stems

drag chain US English

A chain used to slow down or steady the motion of a vehicle

drive chain US English

An endless chain with links that engage with toothed wheels in order to transmit power from one shaft to another in an engine or machine tool

food chain US English

A hierarchical series of organisms each dependent on the next as a source of food

heavy chain US English

The protein subunit that, as one of a pair, makes up the major part of an immunoglobulin molecule

human chain US English

A line of people formed for passing things quickly from one site to another

jack chain US English

A chain of links each consisting of a double loop of wire resembling a figure 8, but with the loops in planes at right angles to each other

light chain US English

A protein subunit that, as one of a pair, forms part of the main antigen-binding region of an immunoglobulin molecule

open chain US English

A molecular structure consisting of a chain of atoms with no closed rings

paper chain US English

A chain made of colored paper links and used for decorating a room, especially at Christmas

side chain US English

A group of atoms attached to the main part of a molecule and having a ring or chain structure

value chain US English

The process or activities by which a company adds value to an article, including production, marketing, and the provision of after-sales service

watch chain US English

A metal chain securing a pocket watch

bicycle chain US English

A chain that transmits the driving power from the pedals of a bicycle to its rear wheel

chain bridge US English

A suspension bridge supported by chains rather than cables

chain harrow US English

A harrow consisting of a net made of chains in a metal frame

chain letter US English

One of a sequence of letters, each recipient in the sequence being requested to send copies to a specific number of other people

chain stitch US English

An ornamental stitch in which loops are crocheted or embroidered in a chain

closed chain US English

A number of atoms bonded together to form a closed loop in a molecule

golden chain US English

The common laburnum

Gunter's chain US English

A former measuring instrument 66 feet (20.1 m) long, subdivided into 100 links, each of which is a short section of wire connected to the next link by a loop. It has now been superseded by the steel tape and electronic equipment

ladies chain US English

A figure in a square dance or other dance

Markov chain US English

A stochastic model describing a sequence of possible events in which the probability of each event depends only on the state attained in the previous event

safety chain US English

A chain fitted for security purposes, especially on a door, watch, or piece of jewelry

supply chain US English

The sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity

timing chain US English

A metal chain or reinforced rubber belt that drives the camshaft of an internal combustion engine. Also called timing belt

Gunter's chain New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

surveyor's measuring chain, 66 ft long

chain reaction US English

A chemical reaction or other process in which the products themselves promote or spread the reaction, which under certain conditions may accelerate dramatically

mountain chain US English

A connected series of mountains

snigging chain US English

A chain used to move logs

straight chain US English

A chain of atoms in a molecule, usually carbon atoms, that is neither branched nor formed into a ring

ball and chain US English

A heavy metal ball secured by a chain to the leg of a prisoner to prevent escape


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