Definition of sequence in English:


Line breaks: se|quence
Pronunciation: /ˈsiːkw(ə)ns


  • 1A particular order in which related things follow each other: the content of the programme should follow a logical sequence [mass noun]: the poems should be read in sequence
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    • I did not want to interrupt the member, particularly because I agreed with most of what he was saying, but I suggest that we follow a logical sequence here.
    • Number each part of the preparation in a logical sequence that you can follow every time.
    • The numbered items defined below are given in a logical sequence that keeps related terms together, which an alphabetical order would disrupt.
  • 1.1 Music A repetition of a phrase or melody at a higher or lower pitch: a restless search for interesting harmonic sequences
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    • If the repetition is only in the melody, with changed harmony, it is called a melodic sequence, and if the repetition is followed also in the harmony, a harmonic sequence.
    • The last repetition of the sequence takes the triads down to the tonic D major and the vocal line up to F (sharp).
    • By the end of ‘Cromosomi’, with its tricky harmonic sequence that descends in semitones, he had the audience in the palm of his hand.
  • 1.2 Biochemistry The order in which amino-acid or nucleotide residues are arranged in a protein, DNA, etc.: these are enzymes which will cleave only at specific base sequences in the DNA
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    • The relationship between the nucleotide sequence and the protein amino-acid sequence determines the genetic code.
    • The molecular classification of lactamases is based on the nucleotide and amino acid sequences in these enzymes.
    • When the amino acid sequences of the four proteins are compared, only a 28% identity is found.
  • 2A set of related events, movements, or items that follow each other in a particular order: a gruelling sequence of exercises a sonnet sequence
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    • It is a sequence of movements that is generally done 12 times a day.
    • The call of any race is simply a momentary climax in an unfolding sequence of related events week to week.
    • One of the keys to playing the piano - or at least to playing it well - is the ability of the pianist to time appropriately a sequence of movements of the fingers.
  • 2.1A set of three or more playing cards of the same suit next to each other in value, for example 10, 9, 8.
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    • Consider splitting it into shorter sequences - for example you might take the lead with the upper four cards and then play the lower five.
    • If two players have identical sequences in non-trump suits, the one wins whose turn to play to the first trick is earlier.
    • To be valid, sequences in the same suit must either have a gap between them or overlap.
  • 2.2 Mathematics An infinite ordered series of numerical quantities.
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    • Thus all infinite sequences of natural numbers have the same power, aleph zero.
    • Infinitely many sequences result from Viswanath's rule.
    • Cantor published a paper on trigonometric series in 1872 in which he defined irrational numbers in terms of convergent sequences of rational numbers.
  • 3A part of a film dealing with one particular event or topic: the famous underwater sequence
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    • Operatic in scale, featuring garish colours and fantastic action sequences, the film is a minor adventure classic.
    • This sets them apart from similar sequences in other action films, which hesitate to show a child uncomfortable, let alone suffering.
    • It remains one of the most exciting action sequences ever filmed.
    excerpt, clip, scene, extract, episode, section, segment
  • 4(In the Eucharist) a hymn said or sung after the Gradual or Alleluia that precedes the Gospel.
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    • Intended for liturgical use, her verses fall into the familiar categories of antiphon, respond, sequence, and hymn, and cover the cycle of the church year.
    • At the end of the sequence the celebrant says, ‘Snatch us from damnation and receive us among your elect.’


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Arrange in a particular order: trainee librarians decide how a set of misfiled cards could be sequenced
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    • The switch condition was manipulated by sequencing the order of tasks across each five-trial series.
    • The series of transplant cases was sequenced in the order in which the operations were carried out.
    • What is put on stage and managed and ordered and sequenced is merely creative manifestations of culture and is not to be equated with culture itself.
  • 1.1 Biochemistry Ascertain the sequence of amino-acid or nucleotide residues in (a protein, DNA, etc.): we have undertaken to isolate and sequence the rat retinoblastoma cDNA (as noun sequencing) independent clones were analysed by DNA sequencing
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    • We sequenced genomic DNA from heterozygous animals in an attempt to identify the remaining mutations.
    • For comparison, we sequenced genomic DNA from the stock used to generate the mutants.
    • We have sequenced mitochondrial DNA and nuclear genes from wild and domestic pigs from Asia and Europe.
  • 2Play or record (music) with a sequencer.
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    • That was much more to do with electronic / sequenced music with a live edge.
    • His work has often interrogated the boundaries between live and sequenced music; between improvisation and composition.
    • The project started with Brock writing and sequencing a demo of the song that we were going to perform.


late Middle English (in sense 4 of the noun): from late Latin sequentia, from Latin sequent- 'following', from the verb sequi 'follow'.

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