Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR CHAIN

Blow it,” he said, taking off the chain, “my mouth is too full of slime.

It is possible that this is one link in the chain of influence which she was weaving around them.

It must value men as men, not as functions of a chain of conventionalities.

He opened the door an inch and I could see a chain between the crack.

The chain and small brooch should be used if the hat pin is of much value.

An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave-driver.

"That's so, you didn't fasten the chain to a stake or a tree," said Owen.

But Tito, brought up at the end of a chain, was a poor runner.

Time and absence have but strengthened the chain that binds us.

They had wrapped the links of the chain in grass and leaves, so that no clanking was heard.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1300, from Old French chaeine "chain" (12c., Modern French chaîne), from Latin catena "chain" (source also of Spanish cadena, Italian catena), of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE root *kat- "to twist, twine" (cf. Latin cassis "hunting net, snare").

Figurative use from c.1600. As a type of ornament worn about the neck, from late 14c. Chain of stores is American English, 1846. Chain gang is from 1834; chain reaction is from 1916 in physics, specific nuclear physics sense is from 1938; chain mail first recorded 1822, in Scott, from mail (n.2). Before that, mail alone sufficed. Chain letter recorded from 1892; usually to raise money at first; decried from the start as a nuisance.

Chain smoker is attested from 1886, originally of Bismarck (who smoked cigars), thus probably a loan-translation of German Kettenraucher. Chain-smoking is from 1930.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR CHAIN

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.