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  Dictionary Definition of chain

1. a connected series of metal or other links for connecting, drawing, confining, restraining, etc., or for ornament.
2. something that binds or restrains.
3. ( plural ) bonds or fetters.
4. ( plural ) bondage.
5. a series of things connected or following in succession.
6. a range of mountains.
7. a number of similar establishments, as banks, theatres, hotels, etc., under one ownership and management.
8. ( plural ) snow chains.
9. Chemistry a linkage of atoms of the same element, as carbon to carbon.
10. Surveying (formerly) a. a measuring instrument consisting of 100 wire rods or links, each 7.92 inches long ( surveyor's or Gunter's chain ), or one foot long ( engineer's chain ). b. the length of a surveyor's chain (66 feet or 20.1168 metres) or engineer's chain (100 feet or 30.48 metres), a unit of measurement in the imperial system.
11. Aeronautics a number of radio stations cooperating for the purpose of providing a navigational system.
-- verb (t)
12. to fasten or secure with a chain.
13. to fetter; confine: chained to his desk.
14. Surveying to measure (a distance on the ground) with a chain or tape.
-- phrase
15. drag the chain, Colloquial to shirk or fall behind in one's share of work or responsibility.
16. the chain, a. the overhead moving chain in a meatworks, on which carcases are passed to various specialist hands for dressing and processing. b. the specialist hands who work on such a chain, regarded as a group or gang.
[ME chayne, from OF chaeine, from L catena ]
-- chainless, adjective
Chain [1]
noun Ernst Boris, 1906--1979, German-English biochemist who shared the 1945 Nobel prize for physiology and medicine with Florey and Fleming for their work with penicillin.