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3 definitions found
 for open chain
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Open \O"pen\, a. [AS. open; akin to D. open, OS. opan, G. offan,
     Icel. opinn, Sw. ["o]ppen, Dan. aaben, and perh. to E. up.
     Cf. Up, and Ope.]
     1. Free of access; not shut up; not closed; affording
        unobstructed ingress or egress; not impeding or preventing
        passage; not locked up or covered over; -- applied to
        passageways; as, an open door, window, road, etc.; also,
        to inclosed structures or objects; as, open houses, boxes,
        baskets, bottles, etc.; also, to means of communication or
        approach by water or land; as, an open harbor or
        [1913 Webster]
              Through the gate,
              Wide open and unguarded, Satan passed. --Milton
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: Also, figuratively, used of the ways of communication
           of the mind, as by the senses; ready to hear, see,
           etc.; as, to keep one's eyes and ears open.
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                 His ears are open unto their cry.  --Ps. xxxiv.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. Free to be used, enjoyed, visited, or the like; not
        private; public; unrestricted in use; as, an open library,
        museum, court, or other assembly; liable to the approach,
        trespass, or attack of any one; unprotected; exposed.
        [1913 Webster]
              If Demetrius . . . have a matter against any man,
              the law is open and there are deputies. --Acts xix.
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              The service that I truly did his life,
              Hath left me open to all injuries.    --Shak.
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     3. Free or cleared of obstruction to progress or to view;
        accessible; as, an open tract; the open sea.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. Not drawn together, closed, or contracted; extended;
        expanded; as, an open hand; open arms; an open flower; an
        open prospect.
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              Each, with open arms, embraced her chosen knight.
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     5. Hence:
        (a) Without reserve or false pretense; sincere;
            characterized by sincerity; unfeigned; frank; also,
            generous; liberal; bounteous; -- applied to personal
            appearance, or character, and to the expression of
            thought and feeling, etc.
            [1913 Webster]
                  With aspect open, shall erect his head. --Pope.
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                  The Moor is of a free and open nature. --Shak.
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                  The French are always open, familiar, and
                  talkative.                        --Addison.
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        (b) Not concealed or secret; not hidden or disguised;
            exposed to view or to knowledge; revealed; apparent;
            as, open schemes or plans; open shame or guilt; open
            source code.
            [1913 Webster +PJC]
                  His thefts are too open.          --Shak.
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                  That I may find him, and with secret gaze
                  Or open admiration him behold.    --Milton.
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     6. Not of a quality to prevent communication, as by closing
        water ways, blocking roads, etc.; hence, not frosty or
        inclement; mild; -- used of the weather or the climate;
        as, an open season; an open winter. --Bacon.
        [1913 Webster]
     7. Not settled or adjusted; not decided or determined; not
        closed or withdrawn from consideration; as, an open
        account; an open question; to keep an offer or opportunity
        [1913 Webster]
     8. Free; disengaged; unappropriated; as, to keep a day open
        for any purpose; to be open for an engagement.
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     9. (Phon.)
        (a) Uttered with a relatively wide opening of the
            articulating organs; -- said of vowels; as, the [aum]n
            f[aum]r is open as compared with the [=a] in s[=a]y.
        (b) Uttered, as a consonant, with the oral passage simply
            narrowed without closure, as in uttering s.
            [1913 Webster]
     10. (Mus.)
         (a) Not closed or stopped with the finger; -- said of the
             string of an instrument, as of a violin, when it is
             allowed to vibrate throughout its whole length.
         (b) Produced by an open string; as, an open tone.
             [1913 Webster]
     The open air, the air out of doors.
     Open chain. (Chem.) See Closed chain, under Chain.
     Open circuit (Elec.), a conducting circuit which is
        incomplete, or interrupted at some point; -- opposed to an
        uninterrupted, or closed circuit.
     Open communion, communion in the Lord's supper not
        restricted to persons who have been baptized by immersion.
        Cf. Close communion, under Close, a.
     Open diapason (Mus.), a certain stop in an organ, in which
        the pipes or tubes are formed like the mouthpiece of a
        flageolet at the end where the wind enters, and are open
        at the other end.
     Open flank (Fort.), the part of the flank covered by the
     Open-front furnace (Metal.), a blast furnace having a
     Open harmony (Mus.), harmony the tones of which are widely
        dispersed, or separated by wide intervals.
     Open hawse (Naut.), a hawse in which the cables are
        parallel or slightly divergent. Cf. Foul hawse, under
     Open hearth (Metal.), the shallow hearth of a reverberatory
     Open-hearth furnace, a reverberatory furnace; esp., a kind
        of reverberatory furnace in which the fuel is gas, used in
        manufacturing steel.
     Open-hearth process (Steel Manuf.), a process by which
        melted cast iron is converted into steel by the addition
        of wrought iron, or iron ore and manganese, and by
        exposure to heat in an open-hearth furnace; -- also called
        the Siemens-Martin process, from the inventors.
     Open-hearth steel, steel made by an open-hearth process; --
        also called Siemens-Martin steel.
     Open newel. (Arch.) See Hollow newel, under Hollow.
     Open pipe (Mus.), a pipe open at the top. It has a pitch
        about an octave higher than a closed pipe of the same
     Open-timber roof (Arch.), a roof of which the
        constructional parts, together with the under side of the
        covering, or its lining, are treated ornamentally, and
        left to form the ceiling of an apartment below, as in a
        church, a public hall, and the like.
     Open vowel or Open consonant. See Open, a., 9.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: Open is used in many compounds, most of which are
           self-explaining; as, open-breasted, open-minded.
           [1913 Webster]
     Syn: Unclosed; uncovered; unprotected; exposed; plain;
          apparent; obvious; evident; public; unreserved; frank;
          sincere; undissembling; artless. See Candid, and
          [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Chain \Chain\ (ch[=a]n), n. [F. cha[^i]ne, fr. L. catena. Cf.
     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
        transmission of mechanical power, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
              [They] put a chain of gold about his neck. --Dan. v.
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     2. That which confines, fetters, or secures, as a chain; a
        bond; as, the chains of habit.
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              Driven down
              To chains of darkness and the undying worm.
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     3. A series of things linked together; or a series of things
        connected and following each other in succession; as, a
        chain of mountains; a chain of events or ideas.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. (Surv.) An instrument which consists of links and is used
        in measuring land.
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     Note: One commonly in use is Gunter's chain, which consists
           of one hundred links, each link being seven inches and
           ninety-two one hundredths in length; making up the
           total length of rods, or sixty-six, feet; hence, a
           measure of that length; hence, also, a unit for land
           measure equal to four rods square, or one tenth of an
           [1913 Webster]
     5. pl. (Naut.) Iron links bolted to the side of a vessel to
        bold the dead-eyes connected with the shrouds; also, the
        [1913 Webster]
     6. (Weaving) The warp threads of a web. --Knight.
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     Chain belt (Mach.), a belt made of a chain; -- used for
        transmitting power.
     Chain boat, a boat fitted up for recovering lost cables,
        anchors, etc.
     Chain bolt
        (a) (Naut.) The bolt at the lower end of the chain plate,
            which fastens it to the vessel's side.
        (b) A bolt with a chain attached for drawing it out of
     Chain bond. See Chain timber.
     Chain bridge, a bridge supported by chain cables; a
        suspension bridge.
     Chain cable, a cable made of iron links.
     Chain coral (Zool.), a fossil coral of the genus
        Halysites, common in the middle and upper Silurian
        rocks. The tubular corallites are united side by side in
        groups, looking in an end view like links of a chain. When
        perfect, the calicles show twelve septa.
     Chain coupling.
        (a) A shackle for uniting lengths of chain, or connecting
            a chain with an object.
        (b) (Railroad) Supplementary coupling together of cars
            with a chain.
     Chain gang, a gang of convicts chained together.
     Chain hook (Naut.), a hook, used for dragging cables about
        the deck.
     Chain mail, flexible, defensive armor of hammered metal
        links wrought into the form of a garment.
     Chain molding (Arch.), a form of molding in imitation of a
        chain, used in the Normal style.
     Chain pier, a pier suspended by chain.
     Chain pipe (Naut.), an opening in the deck, lined with
        iron, through which the cable is passed into the lockers
        or tiers.
     Chain plate (Shipbuilding), one of the iron plates or
        bands, on a vessel's side, to which the standing rigging
        is fastened.
     Chain pulley, a pulley with depressions in the periphery of
        its wheel, or projections from it, made to fit the links
        of a chain.
     Chain pumps. See in the Vocabulary.
     Chain rule (Arith.), a theorem for solving numerical
        problems by composition of ratios, or compound proportion,
        by which, when several ratios of equality are given, the
        consequent of each being the same as the antecedent of the
        next, the relation between the first antecedent and the
        last consequent is discovered.
     Chain shot (Mil.), two cannon balls united by a shot chain,
        formerly used in naval warfare on account of their
        destructive effect on a ship's rigging.
     Chain stitch. See in the Vocabulary.
     Chain timber. (Arch.) See Bond timber, under Bond.
     Chain wales. (Naut.) Same as Channels.
     Chain wheel. See in the Vocabulary.
     Closed chain, Open chain (Chem.), terms applied to the
        chemical structure of compounds whose rational formul[ae]
        are written respectively in the form of a closed ring (see
        Benzene nucleus, under Benzene), or in an open
        extended form.
     Endless chain, a chain whose ends have been united by a
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  open chain
      n 1: a chain of atoms in a molecule whose ends are not joined to
           form a ring [ant: closed chain, ring]

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