follow

verb
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.

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for follow

Synonyms: Verb

postdate, succeed, supervene

Antonyms: Verb

antedate, precede, predate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Owners accounted for 11% of the variance, followed by the general manager (22%), coaches (29%) and quarterbacks (37%). Steve Rosenbush, WSJ, "What Your CEO Is Reading: Who Is the True Leader of the NFL Franchise?," 26 Apr. 2019 Visit her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Jen Malia, SELF, "My Taekwondo Black Belt Changed My Life as an Autistic Woman," 18 Apr. 2019 Prime and paint the walls, then install the finished floor, followed by baseboard molding. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Finish Your Basement," 18 Apr. 2019 Connecticut’s law requiring handgun purchasers to first pass a background check and obtain a license, for example, was followed by a 40 percent drop in gun homicides and a 15 percent reduction in handgun suicides. German Lopez, Vox, "I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.," 14 Feb. 2019 Listen to all of the picks below, and follow Harper's BAZAAR on Spotify. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Mother-Son Dance Songs to Play at Your Wedding," 12 Apr. 2019 And the implication, between this and 2K’s subsidiary Private Division, is that other 2K/Take Two games will follow, which opens the door to an eventual Red Dead Redemption 2 PC release being Epic exclusive as well. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Borderlands 3 is an Epic exclusive, Obsidian shows off The Outer Worlds," 5 Apr. 2019 Because the estate cost over half a million dollars a year in maintenance and taxes, Elvis's former wife Priscilla Presley and the executors (following Vernon's death) planned to open Graceland to the public. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Graceland, Home of Elvis Presley," 14 Mar. 2019 Jonathan’s buzzwords were as follows: bold, glamorous, and memorable. Simon Doonan, ELLE Decor, "Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan Give Their Greenwich Village Home a Glitz Makeover," 8 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nobody would wish to go through the embarrassment of impeachment in the House of Representatives and the public spectacle of a follow-up trial in the Senate. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Impeachment Could Be a Trap—for Democrats," 29 Apr. 2019 BuzzFeed writer Anne Helen Petersen fields endless requests for snatches of her time that aren’t paid, like pro-bono speeches or emails that ask for advice and require extended follow-up. Emma Goldberg, Glamour, "A Penny for Her Thoughts? Women in the Gig Economy Struggle to Get Paid," 16 Apr. 2019 In the wake of her critically lauded third album Froot and its accompanying Neon Nature Tour that sold out dates across Europe, North, and South America, Marina began prepping a follow-up that didn’t seem to go anywhere. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "Marina Is Back and Better Than Ever, Even Without The Diamonds," 5 Apr. 2019 This follow-up to 2014’s The Voyager might be her best yet. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Sound On: The Best Music of March 2019," 1 Apr. 2019 Sanders asked in a follow-up retweet of her own tweet. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Sarah Sanders Got Dragged for Tweeting About “Mueller Madness”," 26 Mar. 2019 If the pain doesn't resolve, don't be afraid to head back to your doctor for a follow-up. Elyssa Goodman, Glamour, "7 Causes of Pain During Sex—and What to Do About Them," 21 Mar. 2019 In a follow-up email to Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall, Stephenson alleged that the NPS executives failed to address the urgent dangers posed by the buckets. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Grand Canyon's Museum Has Reportedly Been Exposing Tourists to Uranium for 18 Years," 19 Feb. 2019 According to Variety, the actress is filming the follow-up to the 2016 hit in Victoria, British Columbia, which will see Holmes' protagonist and her young family move into an unusual house. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Katie Holmes Just Shared the Sweetest Photo of Suri Cruise in the Snow," 18 Feb. 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.

See More

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 and Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about follow

Statistics for follow

Last Updated

5 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for follow

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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
fol·​low

Legal Definition of follow

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on follow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with follow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!