chain chain [tʆeɪn] noun [countable]
1. a number of shops, hotels, cinemas etc owned or managed by the same company or person:

• Britain's leading supermarket chain

chain of

• a chain of travel agents.

2. a series of people or organizations involved in different stages of the same activity
distriˈbution ˌchain also ˌchain of distriˈbution, supˈply chain COMMERCE TRANSPORT
the series of organizations that are involved in passing products from manufacturers to the public:

• There are price advantages to be gained when middlemen, or retailers, are by-passed in the chain of distribution.

• During the different stages in the supply chain, distributors and suppliers frequently have conflicting goals.

1. how each department in a company adds to the value of the goods or services produced:

• We need to be aware of the complete value chain for the company's products and how investment will improve each part.

2. how each company in a group of companies who are all involved in producing a particular product or service adds to its value — see also daisy chain

* * *

chain UK US /tʃeɪn/ noun [C]
COMMERCE a group of similar businesses, such as restaurants or hotels, which are all owned and controlled by the same organization: hotel/supermarket/fast-food chain »

The well-known fast-food chain has expanded to over 20,000 restaurants in 17 countries.


chain restaurants/stores/retailers


a chain of supermarkets/bookstores/department stores

a system of people, processes, or organizations that work together in a particular order: »

This unit examines the stages in the chain of production of tea, from the leaves in Sri Lanka to the cup in the UK.

chain of command/power/authority »

Employee complaints were taken all the way up the corporate chain of command.

UK PROPERTY a situation in which someone cannot complete the sale of their house because the person who wants to buy it needs to sell their house first: »

Some house sellers refuse to exchange contracts with buyers who are in a chain

See also DISTRIBUTION CHAIN(Cf. ↑distribution chain), PRODUCTION CHAIN(Cf. ↑production chain), SUPPLY CHAIN(Cf. ↑supply chain), VALUE CHAIN(Cf. ↑value chain)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chain — (ch[=a]n), n. [F. cha[^i]ne, fr. L. catena. Cf. {Catenate}.] 1. A series of links or rings, usually of metal, connected, or fitted into one another, used for various purposes, as of support, of restraint, of ornament, of the exertion and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chain — chain; chain·er; chain·less; chain·let; chain·man; chain·o·mat·ic; chain·wale; en·chain; en·chain·ment; un·chain; mul·ti·chain; …   English syllables

  • chain — [chān] n. [ME & OFr chaine < L catena < IE base * kat , to twist, twine > prob. OE heathor, confinement] 1. a flexible series of joined links, usually of metal, used to pull, confine, etc. or to transmit power 2. TIRE CHAIN 3. [pl.] a)… …   English World dictionary

  • Chain — Chain, v. t. [imp. p. p. {Chained} (ch[=a]nd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Chaining}.] 1. To fasten, bind, or connect with a chain; to fasten or bind securely, as with a chain; as, to chain a bulldog. [1913 Webster] Chained behind the hostile car. Prior.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chain — I (nexus) noun act of coming together, act of coupling, act of joining, act of uniting, affiliation, affinity, alliance, association, attachment, attraction, bond, bond of union, bridge, conjunction, connectedness, connecting link, connecting… …   Law dictionary

  • CHAIN — can refer to:* CHAIN programming language * CHAIN (industry standard), an acronym for Ceced Home Appliances Interoperating Network, a standard for a multi brands home network of interactive household appliances.See also Chain …   Wikipedia

  • chain — [n1] succession, series alternation, catena, concatenation, conglomerate, consecution, continuity, group, order, progression, row, sequence, set, string, syndicate, train, trust; concepts 432,727,769 chain [n2] connected metal links; jewelry made …   New thesaurus

  • chain —   [tʃeɪn, englisch], noch gebräuchliche Längeneinheit in Großbritannien und den USA: 1 chain = 22 yd = 20,1168 m …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Chain — [tʃein] das; s, <aus engl. chain »Kette«, dies aus fr. chaîne, vgl. ↑Chaine> Längeneinheit in Großbritannien u. in den USA (20,11 m) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • chain n — chain store n, chain letter …   English expressions

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