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See also: séquence and séquencé


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From Middle English sequence,[1] borrowed from Old French sequence (a sequence of cards, answering verses), from Late Latin sequentia (a following), from Latin sequens (following), from sequi (to follow); see sequent.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsiːkwəns/
  • (file)


sequence (countable and uncountable, plural sequences)

  1. A set of things next to each other in a set order; a series
  2. (uncountable) The state of being sequent or following; order of succession.
    Complete the listed tasks in sequence.
  3. A series of musical phrases where a theme or melody is repeated, with some change each time, such as in pitch or length (example: opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony).
  4. A musical composition used in some Catholic Masses between the readings. The most famous sequence is the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) formerly used in funeral services.
  5. (mathematics) An ordered list of objects, typically indexed with natural numbers.
  6. (now rare) A subsequent event; a consequence or result.
    • 1891, Mary Noailles Murfree, In the "Stranger People's" Country, Nebraska, published 2005, pages 12–13:
      he found no words to convey the impressions he had received; then he gave way to the anger always the sequence of the antagonism of opinion between them.
  7. A series of shots that depict a single action or style in a film, television show etc.
    • 2012 April 26, Tasha Robinson, “Film: Reviews: The Pirates! Band Of Misfits :”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      What follows is a bunch of nonstop goofery involving chase sequences, dream sequences, fast-changing costumes and an improbable beard, a little musical help from Flight Of The Conchords, and ultimately a very physical confrontation with a surprisingly spry Victoria.
  8. (card games) A meld consisting of three or more cards of successive ranks in the same suit, such as the four, five and six of hearts.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (mathematics): Beginning students often confuse sequence with series.





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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


sequence (third-person singular simple present sequences, present participle sequencing, simple past and past participle sequenced)

  1. (transitive) to arrange in an order
  2. (transitive, biochemistry) to determine the order of things, especially of amino acids in a protein, or of bases in a nucleic acid
  3. (transitive) to produce (music) with a sequencer



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “sequence”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further reading[edit]