fol·​low | \ ˈfä-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce follow (audio) \
followed; following; follows

Definition of follow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to go, proceed, or come after followed the guide
2a : to engage in as a calling or way of life : pursue wheat-growing is generally followed here
b : to walk or proceed along follow a path
3a : to be or act in accordance with follow directions
b : to accept as authority : obey followed his conscience
4a : to pursue in an effort to overtake Police followed the robbers attempting to escape.
b : to seek to attain follow knowledge
5 : to come into existence or take place as a result or consequence of disaster followed the blunder
6a : to come or take place after in time, sequence, or order A juggling act followed the singer.
b : to cause to be followed followed dinner with a liqueur
7 : to copy after : imitate the new building follows the facades and roof lines of the original buildings— Maxwell Mays
8a : to watch steadily followed the flight of the ball
b : to keep the mind on follow a speech
c : to attend closely to : keep abreast of followed his career with interest
d : to understand the sense or logic of (something, such as a line of thought) I don't quite follow your thinking.
e : to subscribe to the feed of (someone or something) especially on social media Follow us on Facebook/Twitter.

intransitive verb

1 : to go or come after a person or thing in place, time, or sequence If one sheep goes through the gate, the rest will follow.
2 : to result or occur as a consequence, effect, or inference Just because he's done some bad things, does it follow that he is a bad person?
as follows
: as comes next used impersonallyThe names of the winners are as follows: Mary, James, and Sylvia.
follow one's nose
1 : to go in a straight or obvious course Just follow your nose until you get there; you can't miss it.
2 : to proceed without plan or reflection : obey one's instincts You don't need my advice—just follow your nose.
follow suit
1 : to play a card of the same suit as the card led
2 : to follow an example set When one airline lowers its fares, the others usually follow suit.



Definition of follow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of following
2 : forward spin given to a ball by striking it above center — compare draw, english

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Synonyms & Antonyms for follow

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for follow


follow, succeed, ensue, supervene mean to come after something or someone. follow may apply to a coming after in time, position, or logical sequence. speeches followed the dinner succeed implies a coming after immediately in a sequence determined by natural order, inheritance, election, or laws of rank. she succeeded her father as head of the business ensue commonly suggests a logical consequence or naturally expected development. after the talk a general discussion ensued supervene suggests the following or beginning of something unforeseen or unpredictable. unable to continue because of supervening circumstances

synonyms see in addition chase

Examples of follow in a Sentence

Verb She followed us into the kitchen. The dog followed the children home. The exit is right this way. Just follow me. The children went home and the dog followed behind. If one sheep goes through the gate, the rest will follow. The number 15 follows 14. Her accident was followed by a long period of recovery. First came the student speeches, and the presentation of awards followed. Rioting followed the unjust verdict. If you work hard, success will surely follow.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Burial will follow in Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield., "Angela Eisenberg," 17 Sep. 2019 Cousette followed and an exchange of gunfire ensued. Carol Robinson |, al, "Tuscaloosa police officer shot to death; suspect in custody," 17 Sep. 2019 As in the film and book, the musical will follow Andy, an ambitious young writer in New York City who lands a job at a prestigious fashion magazine, only to discover that her stylish boss is straight out of hell. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "The Devil Wears Prada musical to premiere in Chicago before Broadway run," 17 Sep. 2019 The frenetic post-game celebration followed an improbable 10-7 victory by the Sun Devils (3-0) over Michigan State (2-1), which came in ranked 18th in one national poll and 19th in another and boasting the nation's top-ranked rushing defense. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "ASU upsets No. 18 Michigan State 10-7 on Daniels' heroics, Spartan mistakes," 14 Sep. 2019 Tee shirts with the words emblazoned in red, white, and blue followed shortly thereafter. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Second Tier in Top Form at Democratic Debate," 13 Sep. 2019 These findings follow on the heels of a joint All-Party Parliamentary Group report by British lawmakers which showed applicants from African countries face far more visa challenges than applicants from other continents. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Three in four Africans applying for student visas in Canada this year have been rejected," 13 Sep. 2019 Weeks of intense negotiations over her severance package followed her departure. Fox News, "Planned Parenthood, former CEO come to agreement on severance dispute," 17 Sep. 2019 Adapted from Greg Rucka’s series of graphic novels, Stumptown follows Dex, an aspiring Portland private investigator who has more flaws than cases. Derek Lawrence,, "Stumptown is ready to bring you a type of character that 'didn't exist on television'," 17 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brees left Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams in the first quarter after the thumb on his right hand hit the hand of on-rushing Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald on the follow trough of a throw., "NEW ORLEANS — Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been diagnosed with a torn ligament near the thumb of his throwing hand that is expected to sideline him at least six weeks, said a person familiar with the situation.," 17 Sep. 2019 Brees left Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams in the first quarter after the thumb on his right hand hit the hand of on-rushing Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald on the follow trough of a throw. Brett Martel, Houston Chronicle, "Saints' Drew Brees has torn ligament in thumb," 16 Sep. 2019 The full list of winners and nominees is as follows, which will be updated as each category is announced. Whitney Friedlander, CNN, "VMAs 2019: See the complete list of winners," 26 Aug. 2019 Following the Marvel movie's immense success, fans have been awaiting a follow-up film ever since. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Black Panther 2 Won't Be Released Until 2022, and I Simply Cannot Wait That Long," 25 Aug. 2019 PRIDE Four years following the release of Escape From Evil, Baltimore indie duo Lower Dens is gearing up for its next era with follow-up The Competition set to drop on Sept. 6 via Ribbon Music. Nick Williams, Billboard, "Listen to Trans Singer-Songwriter Jana Hunter of Lower Dens' Summer of Pride Mix: 'There Is a Place Here, Even For You'," 16 Aug. 2019 Don't be surprised if more follow in the coming months or years. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Silent Windows update patched side channel that leaked data from Intel CPUs," 6 Aug. 2019 The follow-up audit also questioned the agency’s insistence to funnel some reports of child abuse to be investigated outside of the child welfare division, without being able to show how that model made children safer., "Oregon child welfare director announces sudden plans to leave office," 26 June 2019 Elections officials didn’t pose any follow-up questions. oregonlive, "Case Closed: In Oregon campaign investigations, ‘I did not’ is all it takes," 17 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'follow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of follow


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for follow

Verb and Noun

Middle English folwen, from Old English folgian; akin to Old High German folgēn to follow

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More Definitions for follow


How to pronounce follow (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of follow

: to go or come after or behind (someone or something)
: to go after or behind (someone) secretly and watch to find out what happens
: to come after (something) in time or place or as part of a series


fol·​low | \ ˈfä-lō How to pronounce follow (audio) \
followed; following

Kids Definition of follow

1 : to go or come after or behind The dog followed the children home. Dessert followed dinner.
2 : to come after in time or place Spring follows winter.
3 : to go on the track of Police followed a clue.
4 : to go along or beside Follow that path.
5 : to be led or guided by : obey Follow the instructions.
6 : to result from Panic followed the fire.
7 : to work in or at something as a way of life He followed the sea.
8 : to watch or pay attention to Just follow the bouncing ball.
9 : understand sense 1 I'm not following this story.
follow suit
1 : to play a card that belongs to the same group (as hearts) as the one first played
2 : to do the same thing someone else has just done
follow through
: to complete something started You must follow through on your promise.
follow up
: to take additional similar or related action I followed up my letter with a phone call.

Other Words from follow

follower \ ˈfäl-​ə-​wər \ noun

Legal Definition of follow

: to be in accordance with (a prior decision) : accept as authoritative — see also precedent — compare overrule

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More from Merriam-Webster on follow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for follow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with follow

Spanish Central: Translation of follow

Nglish: Translation of follow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of follow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on follow

What made you want to look up follow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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