follow

verb
fol·low | \ˈfä-(ˌ)lō \
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 impersonally The 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.

follow

noun

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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Choose the Right Synonym for follow

Verb

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

After a restless night, Shepherd still had the resolve to win the championship match the following day, another indication of her talent and resilience. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Center Grove's Erica Shepherd looking for repeat junior title, LPGA future," 14 July 2018 Stick Fly’’ in 2010 before its Broadway run the following year. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "A comeback role for Boston theaters?," 14 July 2018 Murray was traded to the Titans the following offseason and enjoyed a career resurgence in his first season in Tennessee, rushing for 1,287 yards on 293 carries. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "DeMarco Murray announces retirement from NFL after seven seasons," 13 July 2018 Players from the following colleges will be assigned to Orlando: UCF, UF, FSU, Miami, USF, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, Jacksonville, Stetson, Florida Tech and West Florida. Stephen Ruiz, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando's Alliance of American Football team learns how it will procure players," 13 July 2018 Most people infected with Salmonella develop the following signs and symptoms 12-72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Honey Smacks recall: 100 salmonella infections in 33 states," 13 July 2018 After a wave of backlash came crashing down on Scarlett Johansson for taking the role of a trans man in the film Rub & Tug, the actress has departed the film and issued the following statement to Out magazine. Jordan Crucchiola, The Cut, "Scarlett Johansson Leaves Her Role in Rub & Tug," 13 July 2018 The following day, Showtime revealed that the project was actually a new series, titled Who Is America?, which bows Sunday, July 15. Jean Bentley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Who Is America?': All the Details (So Far) About the Showtime Comedy," 13 July 2018 The following Saturday, Adams was the new announcer at Raceway. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "Baranek: Raceway Park 'voice' Wayne Adams Sr. still telling golden stories about auto racing at age 99," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But a follow-up question asking what should happen to families accused of crossing illegally found most Americans supporting a relatively punitive approach. Scott Clement, Washington Post, "The public rejected Trump’s child-separation policy, but a majority supports his push to detain families until court hearings," 13 July 2018 But only weeks later, lawmakers passed a follow-up bill delaying the enforcement of criminal penalties for operating a ride without a state permit until this year. CBS News, "Verruckt waterslide, where 10-year-old boy died in 2016, to come down, park says," 12 July 2018 The guidance on school violence is a follow-up to one published in 2002 in conjunction with an in-depth study of school attacks and perpetrators. Del Quentin Wilber, WSJ, "Secret Service Issues Guide Aimed at Preventing School Shootings," 12 July 2018 Now, the follow-up promises to push the mythology of the property further. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Cult Noir Comic 'Spencer & Locke' Returns This Winter," 12 July 2018 The school district’s human resources department processes all staff background checks by checking state and federal databases and submitting fingerprints to Accurate ID, a subscriber system, Staples said in a follow-up statement. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Newly hired principal gets $15K from Zion school district to resign before starting," 11 July 2018 Now, state appellate courts will have to weigh in on a slew of follow-up questions being lobbed from all across the commonwealth. Samantha Melamed, Philly.com, "Why are juvenile lifers from Philly getting radically different sentences than those in the rest of Pennsylvania?," 10 July 2018 Alf said of Jordan in a follow-up interview on Monday. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Jim Jordan defender: Ohio State locker room talk included ‘prepare to drop your pants’," 9 July 2018 For its follow-up, the company partnered with Barefoot Sound, an American manufacturer of studio monitors and loudspeakers, to create the second-generation Shinola Bookshelf Speakers, which are available today. Micah Singleton, The Verge, "Shinola made studio-quality speakers for your home," 9 July 2018

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

Verb

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

Noun

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for follow

Verb

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

Noun

see follow entry 1

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Statistics for follow

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for follow

The first known use of follow was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for follow

follow

verb

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

follow

verb
fol·low | \ˈfä-lō \
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
fol·low

Legal Definition of follow 

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

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Comments on follow

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