chain · noun /tʃeɪn/Full view
A2 C or U a line of metal rings connected together
Dictionary examples:

a bicycle chain

She wore a gold chain around her neck.

The hostages were kept in chains.

Learner example:

My best friend, Clara, gave me a silver chain. I like [it] a lot!!! (Key English Test; A2; Spanish)

chain (BUSINESS)
B1 C a number of similar stores, restaurants, etc. owned by the same company
Dictionary examples:

a chain of hotels/stores/supermarkets

a fast-food chain

Learner example:

These days children [have] grown up with McDonalds and other fast-food chains. (First Certificate in English; B2; Dutch)

chain (EVENTS)
B2 C a series of things that happen one after the other
Dictionary examples:

a chain reaction

His arrival set off a surprising chain of events.

Learner example:

The problem began to increase because all her friends knew her secret. It was like a "chain reaction." (First Certificate in English; B2; Spanish)

Cambridge logo