verb pur·sue \pər-ˈsü, -ˈsyü\

: to follow and try to catch or capture (someone or something) for usually a long distance or time

: to try to get or do (something) over a period of time

: to be involved in (an activity)


Full Definition of PURSUE

transitive verb
:  to follow in order to overtake, capture, kill, or defeat
:  to find or employ measures to obtain or accomplish :  seek <pursue a goal>
:  to proceed along <pursues a northern course>
a :  to engage in <pursue a hobby>
b :  to follow up or proceed with <pursue an argument>
:  to continue to afflict :  haunt <was pursued by horrible memories>
:  2chase 1c <pursued by dozens of fans>
intransitive verb
:  to go in pursuit
pur·su·er noun

Examples of PURSUE

  1. Hounds pursued the fox for miles.
  2. The criminal is being pursued by police.
  3. He chose to pursue a college degree.
  4. She wants to pursue a legal career.
  5. It is this peace among the Great Powers—at least for the near term—that makes it truly possible both to pursue my vision of the post-Cold War world and, at the same time, to hedge against failure by maintaining the capacity to protect ourselves and our interests … —Robert S. McNamara, In Retrospect, 1995

Origin of PURSUE

Middle English, from Anglo-French pursure, pursiure, from Latin prosequi, from pro- forward + sequi to follow — more at pro-, sue
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to PURSUE

bird-dog, chase, course, dog, hound, follow, run, shadow, tag, tail, trace, track, trail
guide, lead, pilot
See Synonym Discussion at chase


Next Word in the Dictionary: pursuitPrevious Word in the Dictionary: pursuant toAll Words Near: pursue
May 25, 2015
callithump Hear it
a noisy boisterous band or parade
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears