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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Chain


CHAIN, noun

1. A series of links or rings connected, or fitted into one another, usually made of some kind of metal, as a chain of gold, or of iron; but the word is not restricted to any particular kind of material. It is used often for an ornament about the person.

2. That which binds; a real chain; that which restrains, confines, or fetters; a bond.

If God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them into chains of darkness. 2 Peter 2:4.

3. Bondage; affliction.

He hath made my chain heavy. Lamentations 3:7.

4. Bondage; slavery.

In despotism the people sleep soundly in their chains.

5. Ornament. Proverbs 1:9.

6. A series of things linked together; a series of things connected or following in succession; as a chain of causes, of ideas, or events; a chain of being.

7. A range, or line of things connected, as a chain of mountains.

8. A series of links, forming an instrument to measure land.

9. A string of twisted wire, or something similar, to hang a watch on, and for other purposes.

10. In France, a measure of wood for fuel, and various commodities, of various length.

11. In ship-building, chains are strong links or plates of iron, bolted at the lower end to the ships side, used to contain the blocks called dead eyes, by which the shrouds of the mast are extended.

12. The warp in weaving, as in French.

CHAIN-; ump. This consists of a long chain equipped with a sufficient number of valves, moving on two wheels, one above the other below, passing downward through a wooden tube and returning through another. It is managed by a long winch, on which several men may be employed at once.

CHAIN-shot, two balls connected by a chain and used to cut down masts, or cut away shrouds and rigging.

CHAIN-wales of a ship, broad and thick planks projecting from a ships side, abreast of and behind the masts, for the purpose of extending the shrouds, for better supporting the masts, and preventing the shrouds from damaging the gunwale.

CHAIN-work, work consisting of threads, cords and the like, linked together in the form of a chain; as lineal chaining or tambour work, reticulation or net work, etc.

Top-chain, on board a ship, a chain to sling the sail-yards in time of battle, to prevent their falling, when the ropes that support them are shot away.

CHAIN, verb transitive

1. To fasten, bind or connect with a chain; to fasten or bind with any thing in the manner of a chain

2. To enslave; to keep in slavery.

And which more blest? Who chaind his country, say

Or he whose virtue sighed to lose a day?

3. To guard with a chain as a harbor or passage.

4. To unite; to form chain-work.