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[si-kwes-ter] /sɪˈkwɛs tər/
verb (used with object)
to remove or withdraw into solitude or retirement; seclude.
to remove or separate; banish; exile.
to keep apart from others; segregate or isolate:
The jury was sequestered until a verdict was reached.
Law. to remove (property) temporarily from the possession of the owner; seize and hold, as the property and income of a debtor, until legal claims are satisfied.
International Law. to requisition, hold, and control (enemy property).
to trap (a chemical in the atmosphere or environment) and isolate it in a natural or artificial storage area: There are processes to sequester carbon from a power plant's exhaust gases.
Plants can sequester toxins and store them in their tissues.
an act or instance of sequestering; separation; isolation.
sequestration (def 7):
domestic programs starved for cash by the federal sequester.
1350-1400; Middle English sequestren < Latin sequestrāre to put in hands of a trustee, derivative of sequester ‘trustee, depositary’
Related forms
sequestrable, adjective
nonsequestered, adjective
self-sequestered, adjective
unsequestered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for sequester
  • Every attempt is being made to sequester high rollers from the rest of the airport.
  • Although they can be frozen, it is not a good idea to sequester the truffles in the freezer for more than a couple of days.
  • Bacteria are known to generate polymeric material to sequester arsenic.
  • He's a tactics geek and has been known to sequester himself while studying hoarded game video.
  • Lab research demonstrates how iron artifacts sequester plutonium from their local environment.
British Dictionary definitions for sequester


verb (transitive)
to remove or separate
(usually passive) to retire into seclusion
(law) to take (property) temporarily out of the possession of its owner, esp until the claims of creditors are satisfied or a court order is complied with
(international law) to requisition or appropriate (enemy property)
Derived Forms
sequestrable, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin sequestrāre to surrender for safekeeping, from Latin sequester a trustee
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sequester
late 14c., from O.Fr. sequestrer (14c.), from L.L. sequestrare "to place in safekeeping," from L. sequester "trustee, mediator," probably originally "follower," related to sequi "to follow" (see sequel). Meaning "seize by authority, confiscate" is first attested 1510s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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