Pronunciation: (chān), [key]
1. a series of objects connected one after the other, usually in the form of a series of metal rings passing through one another, used either for various purposes requiring a flexible tie with high tensile strength, as for hauling, supporting, or confining, or in various ornamental and decorative forms.
2. Often, chains. something that binds or restrains; bond: the chain of timidity; the chains of loyalty.
3. chains,
a. shackles or fetters: to place a prisoner in chains.
b. bondage; servitude: to live one's life in chains.
c. Naut.(in a sailing vessel) the area outboard at the foot of the shrouds of a mast: the customary position of the leadsman in taking soundings.
d. See tire chain.
4. a series of things connected or following in succession: a chain of events.
5. a range of mountains.
6. a number of similar establishments, as banks, theaters, or hotels, under one ownership or management.
7. Chem.two or more atoms of the same element, usually carbon, attached as in a chain. Cf. ring1 (def. 17).
8. Survey., Civ. Engin.
a. a distance-measuring device consisting of a chain of 100 links of equal length, having a total length either of 66 ft. (20 m) (Gunter's chain or surveyor's chain) or of 100 ft. (30 m) (engineer's chain).
b. a unit of length equal to either of these.
c. a graduated steel tape used for distance measurements. Abbr.: ch
9. Math.See totally ordered set.
10. Football.a chain 10 yd. (9 m) in length for determining whether a first down has been earned.
11. drag the chain, Australian lag behind or shirk one's fair share of work.
12. in the chains, Naut.standing outboard on the channels or in some similar place to heave the lead to take soundings.

1. to fasten or secure with a chain: to chain a dog to a post.
2. to confine or restrain: His work chained him to his desk.
3. measure (a distance on the ground) with a chain or tape.
4. link (related items, as records in a file or portions of a program) together, esp. so that items can be run in sequence.
5. to make (a chain stitch or series of chain stitches), as in crocheting.

to form or make a chain.


Pronunciation: (chān), [key]
Sir Ernst Boris Pronunciation: (ûrnst, ernst), [key] 1906–79, English biochemist, born in Germany: Nobel prize for medicine 1945.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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