chain up [snow chains]

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post mod (English Only / Latin)
English - US
Term: (A word or expression you have seen in writing)

chain up (phrasal verb, inseparable, both with and without object.)

chain-up (adjective)

: I only know that this is used in North American. I don't know whether it would be understood in British English.
Your definition or explanation:

verb: + object: to put put snow chains on a tire.
no object: to equip a vehicle with snow chains.

adjective: relating to putting snow chains on a vehicle.


Verb -- examples from, a US website with information for truck drivers: Chain Law Information

verb, no object
Officials in Idaho can determine, at any time, that Lookout Pass on I-90, Fourth of July Pass on I-90 or Lolo Pass on Highway 12 are unsafe, either individually or as a group. If that happens, signs will alert you to chain up.

verb, with object
If the alert is in effect, you will have to chain up a minimum of one tire on each side of drive axles and one axle at or near the rear of each trailer.
Recent improvements to I-90 nearly doubled the length and width of the chain-up area.
WSDOT News - 2013 - New chain-up system helps improve safety and efficiency for I-90 drivers
One or more places you have seen the term: (Please give URLs/links to web pages, or a full description of a print publication.)

See above as well as:

One question we receive often is “I plan to travel on [a snowy highway] this weekend. Will I need to chain up?” - See more at: [tranBC -- Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Online: British Columbia, Canada.]

The Washington State Department of Transportation is implementing a pilot project to try and solve chain-up woes in the westbound lanes. WSDOT News - 2013 - New chain-up system helps improve safety and efficiency for I-90 drivers

Have you looked for this term or meaning in dictionaries? Yes

Have you found it? No
Last edited:
  • Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Interesting. Contextually it would be instantly understood, not in 'BrE', but by British speakers of English who have visited snow-bound lands in (say) the Alps or Canada or Vermont in the ski-season.

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