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

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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 Health authorities in Britain have already decided to delay giving the second dose, and some experts in the United States are pushing for this country to follow suit. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine performs as well in the real world as in clinical trials, new study concludes," 28 Feb. 2021 Miami will continue to follow the State of Ohio and Butler County guidelines surrounding COVID-19. Provided, The Enquirer, "UC and Army highlight Miami RedHawks football schedule," 27 Feb. 2021 Participants will receive the recipes in advance to take notes and follow along. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "Take a bite out of hunger and taste round-the-world Passover dishes: Valley Views," 27 Feb. 2021 Attendees at Friday’s event were predominantly maskless, according to reports, and when CPAC organizers asked the crowd to follow federal laws and put on their masks, many in the crowd booed. Globe Staff,, "‘Orlando is awesome. It’s not as nice as Cancun’: Ted Cruz joked about his Mexico getaway during CPAC speech," 27 Feb. 2021 The next episode, which resumes with new episodes from Season 13, premieres on Friday, March 5, at 8 p.m. and new episodes follow each week. oregonlive, "RuPaul’s Drag Race behind-the-scenes special time, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online (2/26/2021)," 27 Feb. 2021 The companies were required to follow at least half the trial participants for eight weeks after the shots to ensure safety before applying for emergency use authorization. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine cleared for expected FDA authorization within days," 27 Feb. 2021 The most direct route for those fleeing to Philadelphia was to follow Deer Creek to the Susquehanna River, and then cross by boat into Cecil County. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Freedom seekers: How the little-told story of the Underground Railroad in Harford County shaped the nation we live in today," 27 Feb. 2021 Hannah Withers, owner of Maxine's Tap Room on Block Avenue and Leverett Lounge on Leverett Avenue in Fayetteville, said the businesses will continue to follow health protocols. Alex Golden, Arkansas Online, "Northwest Arkansas residents get vaccinated at mass event," 27 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is because the length of follow-up and the mean age at psychotic disorder diagnosis were not clearly reported. Anuradha Varanasi, Forbes, "Childhood ADHD Increases Risk Of Developing Schizophrenia Or Other Psychotic Disorders," 28 Feb. 2021 After breathing life into its postseason fate with a win over Missouri, losing to Vanderbilt was the worst follow-up imaginable. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Bubble watch: Indiana and Syracuse stumble; UConn bolsters NCAA Tournament profile," 27 Feb. 2021 Tiger Woods was moved to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and received successful follow-up procedures Friday morning following a car crash that left him badly injured earlier this week. Paul Best, Fox News, "Tiger Woods had successful follow-up procedures Friday morning as he recovers from wreck," 27 Feb. 2021 Black patients, for example, are more likely to be diagnosed at later stages than white patients for breast, colorectal and cervical cancers, partly due to lower screening rates and timely follow-up of abnormal results, experts note. Melissa Estrada, The Arizona Republic, "‘The balance of risk has shifted’: Cancer screenings plunge during COVID-19 pandemic," 26 Feb. 2021 According to Segal, director of education for the organization, an average of 16% of students who go through the program need a follow-up, and about half those students are referred onward for continued mental health services. Kaitlin Edquist,, "The death of a Northbrook teenager has focused a shattered community’s attention on mental health," 25 Feb. 2021 For Marimar, local and state governments ideally would focus on providing more monetary relief, housing and access to physical and mental health follow-up services. Selene Rivera, Los Angeles Times, "‘I feel abandoned, but I’m not the only one.’ LGBTQ Latinos suffer in the pandemic’s shadows," 25 Feb. 2021 The follow-up to 2018’s Mercury Prize-winning Visions of a Life, the upcoming LP arrives on June 11th via Dirty Hit/RCA Records and is available for preorder. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, "Wolf Alice Preview New Album ‘Blue Weekend’ With ‘The Last Man On Earth’," 25 Feb. 2021 For the fall 2021 season, a swift follow-up to his debut couture show in January, the British designer presented a collection that paid homage to the Roman label’s storied history, while also adding his signature sleek, streetwise edge. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Jones Displays Easy Elegance for His First Fendi RTW Collection," 24 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for follow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for follow

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Follow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for follow



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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