Definition of enchain in US English:



[with object]literary
  • Bind with or as with chains.

    ‘the statue of Louis XIV, with four slaves enchained’
    ‘whenever he spoke all were enchained’
    • ‘Arrino was a man who did as he pleased, who answered to no one - not even me - so how had he ended up enchained by the laws of social convention that he had always been contemptuous of?’
    • ‘Education is slavery, it enchains the mind and makes it a resource for class power.’
    • ‘He used to be enchained by his own self-consciousness.’
    • ‘As long as he retains human form, he is enchained by our institutions…’
    • ‘Several details are reminiscent of Fuzelier's Les amours déguisés, including the ‘fleet of cupids’ and the lovers enchained with garlands of roses.’
    • ‘Sachs argues, that a syndrome of unpropitious circumstances enchain the poorest countries in a hand to mouth existence that prevents them investing in their future.’
    • ‘Venus, accompanied by her Games and Pleasures disguised as sailors, invites mortals to accompany them, and in fact has her cupids enchain the lovers with garlands of roses.’
    • ‘By the time he wrote his preface, he had come to the conclusion that, ’… to enchain syllables, and to lash the wind, are equally the undertakings of pride.’’


Late Middle English: from Old French enchainer, based on Latin catena ‘chain’.