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chain British & World English

A series of linked metal rings used for fastening or securing something, or for pulling loads

chain English Thesaurus

he had been held in chains while he was a prisoner

Chain, Sir Ernst Boris British & World English

(1906–79), German-born British biochemist. With Howard Florey he isolated and purified penicillin and in 1945 they shared a Nobel Prize with Alexander Fleming

rattle someone's cage British & World English

Anger or irritate someone

chain gun British & World English

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

chain drive British & World English

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

chain gang British & World English

A group of convicts chained together while working outside the prison

chain gear British & World English

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

chain-link British & World English

Made of wire in a diamond-shaped mesh

chain mail British & World English

Flexible armour consisting of small metal rings linked together

chain shot British & World 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 British & World English

Smoke continually, typically by lighting a cigarette from the stub of the last one smoked

chain store British & World English

One of a series of shops owned by one firm and selling the same goods

chain wheel British & World English

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

choke chain British & World English

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

curb chain British & World English

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

daisy chain British & World English

A string of daisies threaded together by their stems

drag chain British & World English

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

drive chain British & World 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 British & World English

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

heavy chain British & World English

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

human chain British & World English

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

jack chain British & World English

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

light chain British & World English

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

open chain British & World English

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

paper chain British & World English

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

side chain British & World English

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

value chain British & World 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 British & World English

A metal chain securing a pocket watch

bicycle chain British & World English

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

chain armour British & World English

Another term for chain mail.

chain bridge British & World English

A suspension bridge held by chains rather than cables

chain harrow British & World English

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

chain letter British & World 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 British & World English

An embroidery or crochet stitch resembling a chain

closed chain British & World English

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

golden chain British & World English

The common laburnum

Gunter's chain British & World English

A former measuring instrument 66 ft (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

ladies' chain British & World English

A figure in a quadrille or other dance

safety chain British & World English

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

supply chain British & World English

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

timing chain British & World 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 British & World English

A chemical reaction or other process in which the products themselves promote or spread the reaction

mountain chain British & World English

A connected series of mountains

snigging chain British & World English

A chain used to move logs

straight chain British & World English

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


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