Definition of sequester in English:



  • 1Isolate or hide away.

    ‘she is sequestered in deepest Dorset’
    ‘the artist sequestered himself in his studio for two years’
    • ‘In fact, practically every story written on her lately has breathlessly played up how she sequestered herself in a cabin in the woods near Ottawa in the months leading up to making the album.’
    • ‘Until that time would arrive, however, he was sequestered - thanks to his parents - in the family apartment just above the garage, without a single clue as to what he wanted to do with his life.’
    • ‘The domestic ideal held out to young women no longer meant that she was to be sequestered from the world in her palace; her influence could now reach past the front door.’
    • ‘Plus it was nice that the festival organizers didn't sequester you from the other musicians.’
    • ‘We didn't see Lori for many days after that, as she chose to sequester herself in her bedroom, with only visits from a revenge-plotting Gloria to cheer her up.’
    • ‘Yet he himself was a middle-class intellectual who disdained the working class and sequestered himself for decades inside the British Library in lieu of direct observation of the conditions he railed against.’
    • ‘So they actually bought their own small roulette wheel, sequestered themselves in their rooms at the Pension Russe, spent hours practicing, and returned to play day after day.’
    • ‘The check-in lines are long, your patience is short, and, to top it off, you're traveling for business, which means you'll likely be sequestered in a chilly conference room for much of the time you're away.’
    • ‘Unable to protect the ones he loves from the life that has chosen him, Frank sequesters himself, putting all his time and energy into his work.’
    • ‘I actually was sequestered in Los Angeles with everybody else who wasn't able to fly.’
    • ‘The facts of these soldiers' cases are under wraps, partly because they've been sequestered from the media by their commander.’
    • ‘Eventually he sequestered himself in a tower on Mt. Soledad, overlooking La Jolla, and wrote book after book after book.’
    • ‘He then sequestered himself in a cave for nine years and sat gazing at the wall.’
    • ‘I've become such an effective slacker in the past week that, after some conversations with friends and family, I've decided to sequester myself from the Internet for the next three days.’
    • ‘A borderline alcoholic with a severe addiction to painkillers, he maintains a live-in girlfriend in the city under the guise of ‘working late’ at the office, while sequestering his wife and kid in the suburbs.’
    • ‘And since last night, the bearded mentor had sequestered himself in his prayer closet, taking only water as he fasted.’
    • ‘Some soldiers had saved their mounts by hiding them on farms; other horses had been sequestered in countries far and wide.’
    • ‘Henry David Thoreau took this to heart when he sequestered himself at Walden Pond and wrote Walden as a response to his experiences.’
    • ‘Lately I've been feeling somewhat unwanted by some of my friends, so I'm choosing to sequester myself a little and stop hassling people.’
    isolate oneself, hide oneself away, shut oneself away, seclude oneself, cut oneself off, shut oneself off, set oneself apart, segregate oneself
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  • 2

    ‘their property was sequestered by Parliament’
    another term for sequestrate
    • ‘Hence, several farms have not been able to sell their milk, which was sequestered by the local health authorities and destroyed.’
    • ‘After the war in 1944 German property in Belgium was sequestered, and the shares in the subsidiary sold.’
    • ‘That runs counter to the finding of the judge that he has realisable assets in a certain amount in excess of those sums which have been sequestered.’
    confiscate, seize, sequestrate, take possession of, take, appropriate, expropriate, impound, commandeer, arrogate
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  • 3Chemistry
    Form a chelate or other stable compound with (an ion, atom, or molecule) so that it is no longer available for reactions.

    ‘non-precipitating water softeners use complex phosphates to sequester calcium and magnesium ions’
    ‘the organic sequestering agent EDTA’
    • ‘Non-precipitating water softeners use complex phosphates to sequester calcium and magnesium ions.’
    • ‘We observed subunit dissociation directly in excess vitamin D binding protein to sequester monomers and preclude association reactions.’
    • ‘With the hydrophobic portions of the molecules sequestered from and the hydrophilic surfaces exposed to solvent, there is little driving force for the soluble peptide oligomers to associate with membranes.’
    • ‘Such reversible, switchable metal-ion binding activity will lead to systems that can sequester metal ions while in the avid form and to systems that can exchange metal ions rapidly while in the other.’
    • ‘One of the interesting properties of melanins is their ability to sequester metal ions.’


  • A general cut in government spending.

    ‘if the budget deal hadn't gone through, there would have been a sequester of at least $100 billion’
    • ‘But if the Senate doesn't move we might just have a sequester.’
    • ‘"But even if a sequester is avoided, the likely policies required to address the nation's long-term fiscal debt problems may also reduce the level of federal funds for states."’
    • ‘Now Washington is less than two weeks away from austerity in the form of the sequester.’
    • ‘Even Democrats who supported big defense cuts wanted them chosen carefully, not with the sequester's cleaver.’
    • ‘The committee should be working overtime to avoid a sequester, which would cut virtually every discretionary program at the Pentagon and the Homeland Security Department by 10 percent in 2013.’
    • ‘And what we ended up with by default was this sequester and the fiscal cliff because the parties as currently arranged, couldn't make a deal on stimulus.’
    • ‘Of course, that was exactly the point of the sequester: to force a more sensible approach.’
    • ‘Economists warn that the sequester could lead to a recession.’
    • ‘If Congress wants to help the U.S. economy, the best thing it can do right now is implement this sequester.’
    • ‘Congress and the president were supposed to figure out how to cut the deficits or else they'd have a sequester, forced spending cuts.’


Late Middle English: from Old French sequestrer or late Latin sequestrare ‘commit for safekeeping’, from Latin sequester ‘trustee’.