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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.
Origin of 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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sequester
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • An undertaking of such scope was too big to sequester in any man's back yard.

    Trail's End

    George W. Ogden
  • And would not every one be able to assign the reason why Clarissa Harlowe chose solitude, and to sequester herself from the world?

    Clarissa, Volume 7 Samuel Richardson
  • But beyond the pledgee and the sequester (a receiver appointed by the court) these exceptions are unimportant and disputed.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • They could bequeath their goods without having him sequester an outrageous part.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • He seemed rather peculiar, and perhaps it would be just as well to sequester him as far off as possible.

    Kit of Greenacre Farm

    Izola Forrester
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., "remove" something, "quarantine, isolate" (someone); "excommunicate;" also intransitive, "separate oneself from," from Old French sequestrer (14c.), from Late Latin sequestrare "to place in safekeeping," from Latin sequester "trustee, mediator," noun use of an adjective meaning "intermediate," which probably is related to sequi "to follow" (see sequel). Meaning "seize by authority, confiscate" is first attested 1510s. Alternative sequestrate (v.) is early 15c., from Latin sequestratus. Related: Sequestered; sequestering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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