1

follow

play
verb fol·low \ ˈfä-(ˌ)lō \

Definition of follow

transitive verb
1 :to go, proceed, or come after
  • followed the guide
2 a :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
3 a :to be or act in accordance with
  • follow directions
b :to accept as authority :obey
  • followed his conscience
4 a :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
6 a :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
8 a :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.
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.

Examples of follow in a Sentence

  1. She followed us into the kitchen.

  2. The dog followed the children home.

  3. The exit is right this way. Just follow me.

  4. The children went home and the dog followed behind.

  5. If one sheep goes through the gate, the rest will follow.

  6. The number 15 follows 14.

  7. Her accident was followed by a long period of recovery.

  8. First came the student speeches, and the presentation of awards followed.

  9. Rioting followed the unjust verdict.

  10. If you work hard, success will surely follow.

Recent Examples of follow from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of follow

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

follow Synonyms

Synonyms
postdate, succeed, supervene
Antonyms
antedate, precede, predate
Related Words
displace, replace, supersede, supplant; ensue
Near Antonyms
head

Synonym Discussion of 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


2

follow

noun

Definition of follow

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

Recent Examples of follow from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of follow


FOLLOW Defined for English Language Learners

follow

play
verb

Definition of follow for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

follow

play
verb fol·low \ ˈfä-lō \

Definition of follow for Students

followed; following
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 1
  • I'm not following this story.

follower

\ˈfäl-ə-wər\ noun
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.

Law Dictionary

follow

transitive verb 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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