[ see-kwuhns ]
/ ˈsi kwəns /


verb (used with object), se·quenced, se·quenc·ing.

to place in a sequence.
Biochemistry. to determine the order of (chemical units in a polymer chain), especially nucleotides in DNA or RNA or amino acids in a protein.



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Origin of sequence

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Late Latin sequentia, equivalent to sequ- (stem of sequī “to follow”) + -entia noun suffix; see -ence

synonym study for sequence

1. See series.

historical usage of sequence

The original meaning of sequence in Middle English was “a hymn sung after the gradual and before the gospel during Mass.” The Middle English noun comes from Old French sequence, whose original sense, dating from the second half of the 12th century, was the same as in Middle English. Old French sequence comes from Medieval Latin sequentia, with the same original meaning.
Sequentia is a feminine noun formed from sequēns (inflectional stem sequent- ), the present participle of the verb sequī “to follow,” and the noun suffix -ia . A sequentia was so called because it followed the Alleluia (a liturgical chant in which the word Alleluia (Hallelujah) is combined with scriptural verses, usually from the Psalms).
The usual, typical sense of sequence, “the succession of one thing after another,” first appears in 1575.


un·der·se·quence, nounun·se·quenced, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for sequence

British Dictionary definitions for sequence

/ (ˈsiːkwəns) /


verb (tr)

to arrange in a sequence
biochem to determine the order of the units comprising (a protein, nucleic acid, genome, etc)

Word Origin for sequence

C14: from Medieval Latin sequentia that which follows, from Latin sequī to follow
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

Medical definitions for sequence

[ sēkwəns, -kwĕns′ ]


A following of one thing after another; succession.
An order of succession; an arrangement.
A related or continuous series.
The order of constituents in a polymer, especially the order of nucleotides in a nucleic acid or of the amino acids in a protein.


To organize or arrange in a sequence.
To determine the order of constituents in a polymer, such as a nucleic acid.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for sequence

[ sēkwəns ]


A set of quantities ordered in the same manner as the positive integers, in which there is always the same relation between each quantity and the one succeeding it. A sequence can be finite, such as {1, 3, 5, 7, 9}, or it can be infinite, such as {1, 12, 13, 14, … 1n}. Also called progression
The order of subunits that make up a polymer, especially the order of nucleotides in a nucleic acid or of the amino acids in a protein.


To determine the order of subunits of a polymer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.