Definition of human chain in English:

human chain


  • 1A line of people formed for passing things quickly from one site to another.

    ‘the cleared rubble was passed in buckets along a human chain of miners’
    • ‘The damage caused to the pagoda was estimated at £72,935 after the fire, which firefighters tackled by forming a human chain on the bridge to the island.’
    • ‘A Nato spokesman in Islamabad said that, by organising villagers into human chains - to pass buckets of water to the house - the British forces helped stop the flames spreading to the rest of the hillside.’
    • ‘As firemen worked to douse the flames, some in the crowd of about 3,000 local residents formed a human chain to pass buckets of water to the burning plane in the hope of rescuing passengers.’
    • ‘Army servicemen formed a human chain and used fire hoses to pull the elderly animal to safety.’
    • ‘Both Miss Nicholson and James went into the water to form a human chain to help the children cross.’
    • ‘People formed a human chain to help the elderly and children up the dark stairs, shouting aloud their fears of a terrorist attack.’
    • ‘Without a thought for his own safety, Mr Crighton swam out to the children and pulled them from danger while Hannah, his wife Joy and a friend quickly formed a human chain to bring them in to the shore.’
    • ‘City security chief Greg Meffert said he was awakened to help form a human chain to quickly unload a state police truck filled with food.’
    • ‘Beachgoers at the scene then formed a human chain by locking hands, walking through the lake (up to chin-deep water) in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the missing girl.’
    • ‘She held Amanda's hand behind her, and so on down the line to form a human chain.’
    • ‘Firefighters, who wore facemasks to protect themselves from asbestos, formed human chains as they passed loose debris down the line’
    • ‘A VET and team of firefighters are to receive awards after forming a human chain to save hundreds of sheep trapped in a crashed lorry.’
    • ‘People move dirt around in buckets and form human chains when they need to get them over the bulks and out of the locus.’
    • ‘A part of the roof collapsed into the famous oval hall, called the Rococo hall, where just previously friends of the library had entered and formed a human chain to save the most precious books.’
    • ‘On my tenth birthday we discovered a wheelchair in the river and created a human chain of plucky ten-year-olds to rescue it.’
    • ‘They surprised the rest of America, which is not used to TV pictures of New Yorkers of all shapes, colours and genders forming human chains and passing cases of mineral water to emergency food stalls.’
    • ‘And he says he will be ‘eternally grateful’ to the estate workers who formed a human chain to help empty the skip so it could be moved from his legs.’
    • ‘The 14-year-old had been rescued from the top of a car by passers-by who formed a human chain and pulled him to safety through chest-deep torrents just minutes before the vehicle was swept away.’
    • ‘More than 20 firemen from Limerick City and County formed a human chain to remove rubble covering Mr O'Dea's body.’
    • ‘Among those who narrowly escaped the chest-deep waters was John Upton, 14, from Doncaster, who was rescued from the roof of a car by passers-by who formed a human chain just minutes before the vehicle was swept away.’
    1. 1.1A line or circle of people linking hands in a protest or demonstration.
      ‘7,000 people formed a human chain stretching through the town’
      • ‘Road safety campaigners formed human chains across a busy road in Radcliffe to drive home the ‘speeding kills’ message.’
      • ‘Troops moved into the community through a second entrance, only to be blocked by crowds who burned tires, formed human chains and scuffled with soldiers.’
      • ‘Student strike leaders vowed to construct a human chain around the police line on Monday, April 17.’
      • ‘Several students of city schools were made to form human chains on Wednesday to highlight the importance of rainwater harvesting, the pet theme of the Chief Minister.’
      • ‘A photograph of the students standing in a human chain around the national flag, with green branches on either side, even fetched him an award on ‘World Photography Day.’’