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 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.



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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While one of them decides to follow his path as a small-time crook, the other becomes a cop. Marta Balaga, Variety, 11 May 2022 And while private-company boards may choose to develop committees, they aren’t required to follow SEC rules and exchange listing standards on board committee structure. Jennifer Williams-alvarez, WSJ, 11 May 2022 As a rule of thumb, an increase in the unemployment rate of three-tenths of a percentage point, on average over the previous three months, has meant a recession will eventually follow. The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 May 2022 Here are five precepts to follow in navigating the dangerous shoals of investing in a downdraft. Larry Light, Fortune, 11 May 2022 Simmons said parents who feel the urge to mask their children should follow their instincts to do so. Meredith Cohn, Baltimore Sun, 11 May 2022 The path was a short and clear one, and the filmmakers chose to follow it. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 11 May 2022 At a psychiatric hospital in Michigan, Dr. Cara Poland’s patients were handed a sheet of paper to find follow-up care. Aneri Pattani, CNN, 11 May 2022 Many companies — McDonald’s, Starbucks, Amazon and more — have begun offering insurance plans that follow suit, a sea change that puts phalloplasty within reach for more trans Americans than ever. New York Times, 10 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is the follow-up to 2018's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which ends with dinosaurs being set free to roam around an Earth inhabited by people. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2022 Arthur Cave’s death greatly influenced the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 2016 album Skeleton Tree and its 2019 follow-up Ghosteen and was also touched upon in the 2016 documentary One More Time With Feeling. Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 May 2022 The plodding follow-up is raising questions about governance, and is taxing residents’ patience while prompting some to leave the island altogether. Xander Peters, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 May 2022 Elizabeth Olsen, Chewitel Ejioifor, Benedict Wong, Patrick Stewart, Xochitl Gomez, and Rachel McAdams also star in the follow-up to 2016's Doctor Strange. Jessica Wang,, 8 May 2022 No Way Home, the studio's follow-up, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, makes a hard pivot away from fan service. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 6 May 2022 The victim planned to go to the police station for follow-up May 3. cleveland, 6 May 2022 But Scott voted against the follow-up stimulus bills in December 2020 and March 2021. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 6 May 2022 Rob Halford’s Heavy Metal Scriptures, a follow-up to his 2020 memoir Confess. Gary Graff, Billboard, 4 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for follow

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Follow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for follow


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 me home.
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 suit 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 email with a phone call.

Other Words from follow

follower \ ˈfäl-​ə-​wər \ noun


transitive verb

Legal Definition of follow

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

More from Merriam-Webster on follow

Nglish: Translation of follow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of follow for Arabic Speakers


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