chain noun

1 line of rings joined together

ADJ. long She wore a long gold chain round her neck. | rusty | bicycle | daisy, paper

QUANT. length

CHAIN + VERB clank

CHAIN + NOUN mail (= armour made of chains)

PREP. in ~s The prisoner was led away in chains. | off sb's/the ~ Let the dog off its chain. | on a/the ~ They kept the dog on a chain all day long.

PHRASES a chain of office The mayor was wearing his chain of office. | a chain on the door Put the chain on the door before you go to bed. | a link in the chain

2 number of things in a line

ADJ. island, mountain | human

VERB + CHAIN form The people formed a human chain to pass the supplies up the beach.

PREP. ~ of a chain of volcanic islands

PHRASES a chain of command (= a system by which instructions are passed from one person to another)

3 group of shops, etc. owned by the same company

ADJ. big, large | small | hotel, supermarket, etc.

CHAIN + NOUN store

PREP. ~ of a chain of clothes shops

PHRASES part of a chain This hotel is part of a large chain.

4 number of connected events/situations

ADJ. complex the complex chain of events that led to the war | unbroken There has been an unbroken chain of great violinists in the family. | causal | food efforts to ensure that dioxins do not enter the food chain

CHAIN + NOUN reaction

PHRASES a chain of events