verb (used with object)

  1. to remove or withdraw into solitude or retirement; seclude.
  2. to remove or separate; banish; exile.
  3. to keep apart from others; segregate or isolate: The jury was sequestered until a verdict was reached.
  4. Law. to remove (property) temporarily from the possession of the owner; seize and hold, as the property and income of a debtor, until legal claims are satisfied.
  5. International Law. to requisition, hold, and control (enemy property).
  6. to trap (a chemical in the atmosphere or environment) and isolate it in a natural or artificial storage area: There are processes to sequester carbon from a power plant’s exhaust gases. Plants can sequester toxins and store them in their tissues.


  1. an act or instance of sequestering; separation; isolation.
  2. sequestration(def 7): domestic programs starved for cash by the federal sequester.

verb (tr)

  1. to remove or separate
  2. (usually passive) to retire into seclusion
  3. law to take (property) temporarily out of the possession of its owner, esp until the claims of creditors are satisfied or a court order is complied with
  4. international law to requisition or appropriate (enemy property)

v.late 14c., “remove” something, “quarantine, isolate” (someone); “excommunicate;” also intransitive, “separate oneself from,” from Old French sequestrer (14c.), from Late Latin sequestrare “to place in safekeeping,” from Latin sequester “trustee, mediator,” noun use of an adjective meaning “intermediate,” which probably is related to sequi “to follow” (see sequel). Meaning “seize by authority, confiscate” is first attested 1510s. Alternative sequestrate (v.) is early 15c., from Latin sequestratus. Related: Sequestered; sequestering.

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