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

Examples of sequence in a Sentence

Noun He listened to the telephone messages in sequence. a chase sequence in a spy movie I enjoyed the movie's opening sequence.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The beginning of the sequence would be 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 1 Aug. 2022 That type of sequence — a true striker’s goal — has been missing for Rising since Rufat Dadashov left midway through last season. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 30 July 2022 Which for people who don’t know what that is, it’s like a crude computer animation of the sequence. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2022 In addition to its rich imagery, the Báez piece occupies a strategic location in the museum’s footprint at the beginning of a sequence of galleries that trace the rise of modernism, represented mainly through French art. Steven Litt, cleveland, 24 July 2022 The vaccine was created out of a genetic sequence of the first strain of the coronavirus. Jen Christensen, CNN, 13 July 2022 The importance of the small parts and taking care of each sequence to the maximum has been essential to ensure that the oppressive atmosphere of the film is maintained constantly throughout the entire footage. Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety, 11 July 2022 That catalog proved critical because, as with most movies, scenes were shot out of sequence. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 22 June 2022 Unfortunately, most traditional automation requires people to work like robots, executing the same task over and over again as part of a handing-off sequence from machine to person. Lior Elazary, Forbes, 10 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb By working in close partnership, scientists in Botswana and South Africa’s Network for Genomic Surveillance were able to quickly sequence Omicron’s RNA and disseminate information around the globe about the unique qualities of this variant. Abraar Karan, Scientific American, 13 July 2022 Efforts to fully sequence the genetic material of an elderly woman whose skeletal remains were found near the man’s failed because there were too many gaps in the DNA taken from her petrous, according to the study authors. Aylin Woodward, WSJ, 26 May 2022 But rather than being deterred, Bello worked with Greenville pitching coach Bob Kipper to better understand how his pitches worked, how to sequence them, and where to locate them to achieve better results. Globe Staff,, 12 May 2022 Knowing that the funding will be available through the recent bond election allows the town to plan and sequence these projects in a manner that provides optimum value. Joshua Bowling, The Arizona Republic, 5 July 2022 For seven of the individuals, the researchers were able to extract and sequence DNA from their teeth. Katie Hunt, CNN, 15 June 2022 Besides the unexpected, Hollywood marketing campaigns usually sequence some planned all-along, late-stage surprises too to keep the audience engaged. Robert Marich, Variety, 23 May 2022 Ultima Genomics emerged from stealth this week with $600 million in funding and claims of technology that can sequence an entire genome for $100. Katie Jennings, Forbes, 1 June 2022 Lander, a leader in the successful effort to sequence the human genome, had headed the prestigious Broad Institute of Harvard and M.I.T. before being tapped for the White House job. Naomi Oreskes, Scientific American, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sequence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sequence


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

More from Merriam-Webster on sequence

Nglish: Translation of sequence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sequence for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sequence


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