sequester

1 of 2

verb

se·​ques·​ter si-ˈkwe-stər How to pronounce sequester (audio)
sequestered; sequestering si-ˈkwe-st(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce sequester (audio)

transitive verb

1
a
: to set apart : segregate
sequester a jury
b
: seclude, withdraw
widely spaced homes are forbiddingly grand and sequesteredDon Asher
2
a
: to seize especially by a writ of sequestration
b
: to place (property) in custody especially in sequestration
3
: to bind (a metal or metal ion) in the form of a soluble complex or chelate by adding a suitable reagent for the purpose of preventing precipitation in water solution by chemical agents that would normally bring it about, of solubilizing precipitates already formed, or of otherwise suppressing undesired chemical or biological activity
sequester calcium and magnesium ions in the softening of hard water
also : to bind or absorb (carbon dioxide) as part of a larger chemical process or compound
… half of the starting material will be used up and half will be char. That can then be put back on the fields, where it will sequester carbon and help grow the next crop. Emma Marris

sequester

2 of 2

noun

1
: the imposition of automatic government spending reductions in accordance with sequestration
2
obsolete : separation, isolation

Did you know?

Sequester first appeared in English in the 14th century. The word derives from Latin sequestrare ("to hand over to a trustee") and ultimately from secus ("beside," "otherwise"), which is akin to Latin sequi ("to follow"). In this relationship, we can trace links to words such as sequel, sequence, consequence, and subsequent, all of which convey a meaning of one thing following another. These days, we most frequently hear sequester used in legal contexts, as juries are sometimes sequestered for the safety of their members or to prevent the influence of outside sources on a verdict. In a different sense, it is possible to sequester property in certain legal situations.

Examples of sequester in a Sentence

Verb The jury was sequestered until a verdict was reached. He was sequestered in his room.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
That’s why trees are a great solution for sequestering carbon. Yishan Wong, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2024 Argentina’s new ‘carbon-neutral’ certification hinges on the grazing landscape sequestering carbon in trees and in the soil to offset methane produced by the cattle. Paul Winters, Discover Magazine, 16 Mar. 2024 Blasey Ford suffered from her testimony, forced to sequester in hotel rooms with her family, guarded by expensive security. Alexandra Jacobs, New York Times, 15 Mar. 2024 But in this case, garbage that’s not been properly sequestered could start an outbreak. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2024 Newly up for grabs and offered at a hair under $3.7 million, the decidedly luxe home is sequestered in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Tarzana. James McClain, Robb Report, 22 Mar. 2024 There, she was sequestered in what was effectively a 10-story concrete prison inside state capital Laukkai with about 200 other human trafficking victims from China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and elsewhere across Asia. TIME, 21 Mar. 2024 The researchers looked at the extent to which a policy of sequestering unvaccinated kids would help to reduce the outbreaks’ size. Daniel Engber, The Atlantic, 22 Feb. 2024 On Earth, natural geological processes sequester carbon dioxide underground. Shi En Kim, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Feb. 2024
Noun
Those restored marine ecosystems sequester carbon much more efficiently than what was there before, and much more efficiently than terrestrial ecosystems. Bianca Nogrady, WIRED, 19 Mar. 2024 Without a proposal or other congressional action, automatic sequester cuts — an idea first introduced by Gramm-Rudman-Hollings — would kick in. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 9 May 2023 The beds reduce coastal erosion and ocean acidification, sequester carbon and provide habitat for commercially, recreationally and ecologically important marine life, according to experts. Krissy Waite, The Mercury News, 1 Jan. 2024 Undisturbed soils sequester a great deal of carbon. Kate Brown, Washington Post, 26 June 2023 For example, cells in our bodies sequester iron as part of the immune response to some infections. Nicholas Kassebaum, The Conversation, 8 Sep. 2023 Its 50 native plant species not only sequester carbon and cool the air, but also support insects, a crucial part of the local ecosystem, says Amy Mertl, an entomologist at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jingnan Peng, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Sep. 2023 Budget cuts on discretionary spending from the sequester ultimately took effect in March 2013 and expired at the end of the federal government’s 2021 fiscal year. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 9 May 2023 Wagner has been moving his vineyards toward regenerative farming, which includes cover crops between the vine rows to help strengthen the soil and sequester carbon. Dave McIntyre, Washington Post, 6 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sequester.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English sequestren, from Anglo-French sequestrer, from Latin sequestrare to hand over to a trustee, from sequester third party to whom disputed property is entrusted, agent, from secus beside, otherwise; akin to Latin sequi to follow

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of sequester was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near sequester

Cite this Entry

“Sequester.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sequester. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

sequester

verb
se·​ques·​ter
si-ˈkwes-tər
sequestered; sequestering
-t(ə-)riŋ
1
: to set apart : segregate
the jury was sequestered until a verdict was reached
2
: to take custody of (as personal property) until a demand is satisfied

Medical Definition

sequester

1 of 2 transitive verb
se·​ques·​ter si-ˈkwes-tər How to pronounce sequester (audio)
: to hold (as a metallic ion) in solution especially for the purpose of suppressing undesired chemical or biological activity

sequester

2 of 2 noun

Legal Definition

sequester

1 of 2 transitive verb
se·​ques·​ter si-ˈkwes-tər How to pronounce sequester (audio)
sequestered; sequestering
1
: to place (as a jury or witness) in seclusion or isolation

Note: Juries are sequestered in order to preserve their impartiality. Witnesses are sequestered so that their testimony is not influenced by the testimony of prior witnesses.

2
a
: to seize especially by a writ of sequestration
b
: to deposit (property) in sequestration

sequester

2 of 2 noun
Etymology

Transitive verb

Anglo-French sequestrer, from Middle French, from Latin sequestrare to hand over to a trustee, from sequester third party to whom disputed property is entrusted, agent, from secus beside, otherwise

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