se·​quence | \ ˈsē-kwən(t)s How to pronounce sequence (audio) , -ˌkwen(t)s\

Definition of sequence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a hymn in irregular meter between the gradual and Gospel in masses for special occasions (such as Easter)
2 : a continuous or connected series: such as
a : an extended series of poems united by a single theme a sonnet sequence
b : three or more playing cards usually of the same suit in consecutive order of rank
c : a succession of repetitions of a melodic phrase or harmonic pattern each in a new position
d : a set of elements ordered so that they can be labeled with the positive integers
e : the exact order of bases in a nucleic acid or of amino acids in a protein
f(1) : a succession of related shots or scenes developing a single subject or phase of a film story
(2) : episode
3a : order of succession
b : an arrangement of the tenses of successive verbs in a sentence designed to express a coherent relationship especially between main and subordinate parts
b : a subsequent development
5 : continuity of progression the narrative sequence


sequenced; sequencing

Definition of sequence (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to arrange in a sequence
2 : to determine the sequence of chemical constituents (such as amino-acid residues or nucleic-acid bases) in

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of sequence in a Sentence


He listened to the telephone messages in sequence. a chase sequence in a spy movie I enjoyed the movie's opening sequence.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This does mark Williams' (and Arya's) first battle scene on GoT, but other war vets in the cast were just as exhausted filming this sequence. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Game of Thrones Cast Had a "Really Miserable" Time Filming the Season 8 Battle Scene," 4 Mar. 2019 Certainly there’s some of that happening in CNN’s suit, and the White House’s relentlessly dishonesty about this sequence of events (and, indeed, its relentless dishonesty about everything) is antithetical to those best traditions of our country. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Jim Acosta vs. the Trump White House, explained," 14 Nov. 2018 The problem with this eminently human sequence of events is that, over time, predominantly positive results get published without being counterbalanced by the negative ones that would reveal, on balance, that the technique does nothing. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "The Ultimate (Evidence-Based) Guide to Recovery," 9 May 2018 Often, the shop manual will show a specific tightening sequence. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019 What transpires is a kooky sequence of events that, well, reminded me of One Tree Hill. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "26 Times the One Tree Hill Lifetime Christmas Movie Will Remind You of, Well, One Tree Hill," 23 Nov. 2018 Day Three: Embracing My Inner Dancing Queen The one thing that was missing from my Donna Sheridan experience was a dance sequence. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "I Lived Like Mamma Mia's Donna Sheraton for a Week," 17 Oct. 2018 Teen Vogue: The video feels a bit like a dream sequence. Ilana Kaplan, Teen Vogue, "Luna Blaise Debuts "Secrets" Music Video and Talks Her New Show "Manifest"," 11 Oct. 2018 The goal was set up after a ridiculous sequence near the box. Khadrice Rollins,, "Watch: Croatia Grabs Win Over England With Goal in Extra Time," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As more species—both present and past—get their genomes sequenced, researchers can start to find even more patterns like these. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Neanderthals and Woolly Mammoths Shared Genetic Traits," 10 Apr. 2019 From that tree, researchers were able to pull out the woman whose DNA had been sequenced. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Chances DNA can be used to find your family? Sixty percent and rising," 11 Oct. 2018 For people with advanced cancer who are running out of options, many cancer centers now offer this hope: Have your tumor’s genome sequenced, and doctors will match you with a drug that targets its weak spot. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "A cancer drug tailored to your tumor? Experts trade barbs over ‘precision oncology’," 24 Apr. 2018 The cost of sequencing alone for research purposes was approximately $1,000, for each of the 200 participants. Carolyn Sue Richards, Smithsonian, "Most Parents Want to Test Their Unborn Kids’ Genes For Disease Risk," 25 May 2018 From the tinkle, the researchers fished out 181 bacteria spanning the diversity of microbes in the bladder and sequenced their genomes. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Never-before-seen viruses that can kill bacteria stream from women’s bladders," 1 Feb. 2018 The Siberian team recently sequenced the fox DNA, and is getting closer to pinpointing the specific genes responsible for friendliness. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Why Are Some Animals Impossible To Domesticate?," 13 Mar. 2019 Like his visionary mother before him, Carrozzini dreams big: By 2040, his hope is that every child born will be able to get sequenced. Vogue, "A New Fund Launched in Franca Sozzani’s Honor Will Support Genomic Research," 17 Jan. 2019 Food and fitness The first genetic variant sequenced was one associated with reduced exercise capacity. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Genetic information as self-fulfilling prophecy," 17 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sequence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sequence


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1941, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sequence


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin sequentia, from Late Latin, sequel, literally, act of following, from Latin sequent-, sequens, present participle of sequi

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sequence

Dictionary Entries near sequence








Statistics for sequence

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sequence

The first known use of sequence was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sequence



English Language Learners Definition of sequence

: the order in which things happen or should happen
: a group of things that come one after the other
: a part of a movie, television show, etc., that deals with one subject, action, or idea


se·​quence | \ ˈsē-kwəns How to pronounce sequence (audio) \

Kids Definition of sequence

1 : the order in which things are or should be connected, related, or dated Follow the directions in sequence.
2 : a group of things that come one after another a sequence of numbers


se·​quence | \ ˈsē-kwən(t)s, -ˌkwen(t)s How to pronounce sequence (audio) \

Medical Definition of sequence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a continuous or connected series specifically : the exact order of bases in a nucleic acid or of amino acids in a protein
2 : a consequence, result, or subsequent development (as of a disease)


transitive verb
sequenced; sequencing

Medical Definition of sequence (Entry 2 of 2)

: to determine the sequence of chemical constituents (as amino acid residues in a protein or bases in a strand of DNA) in sequenced the DNA of the entire genome of an organism

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sequence

What made you want to look up sequence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!