noun Chemistry.
an open chain of atoms, usually carbon, with no side chains attached to it.
Also called straight chain.
Compare branched chain.

1925–30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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To make a model of a branched polymer, connect some paper clips end-to-end exactly as you did to make a straight-chain polymer.
Alcohols may have straight-chain, branched-chain or ring structures.
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