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

Berry has followed in the footsteps of Lady Gaga, who unveiled her own spine tattoo last week in tribute to her latest movie, A Star Is Born. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Halle Berry Just Unveiled the Most Enormous Tattoo Right Down Her Back," 5 Mar. 2019 The designer is joined in the fittings by Benedetta, who is following in his footsteps by studying literature at the University of Rome and has come to see him on her lunch break. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Inside the Private World of Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli," 3 Mar. 2019 Celebrity kids have been known to follow in the footsteps of their famous parents and enter the acting world. Katina Beniaris, Woman's Day, "Luke Perry's 21-Year-Old Son Is Now a Professional Wrestler," 28 Feb. 2019 The successor to Lagerfeld will be mindful of following in his hugely creative footsteps, as well as his punishing work ethic. Andrea Felsted, The Seattle Times, "Karl Lagerfeld’s legacy is more than just Chanel suits," 19 Feb. 2019 Genie Will Smith has some huge shoes to fill following in the footsteps of the legendary comedian Robin Williams as the genie. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "Here's Who's Been Cast in the "Aladdin" Live-Action Remake So Far," 11 Feb. 2019 The clip — which follows in the footsteps of the recent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing meme — quickly earned the seal of approval from social media. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Lady Gaga Screamed "It's True" After Sandra Oh Mocked Her "A Star Is Born" Meme at Golden Globes 2019," 7 Jan. 2019 Not only has the Kid not aged, but violent outbreaks seem to follow in his wake. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2018: Our favorite shows and binges," 24 Dec. 2018 Hield made a driving layup followed by a 3-pointer in transition to build the lead to 91-80, and Sacramento led by 12 heading into the fourth. Josh Dubow, The Seattle Times, "Bagley’s career-high 24 points lead Kings past Spurs 127-112," 4 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 First up is Us, Jordan Peele’s highly anticipated, extremely mysterious follow-up to Get Out, a psychological horror film about a family whose home is invaded by doppelgängers. Carina Chocano, Vogue, "Elisabeth Moss on Jordan Peele’s Us, Handmaid’s New Season, and Why She Loves Real Housewives," 14 Feb. 2019 Specifically, the Telegraph's follow-up says the original article incorrectly described Trump's father, Viktor Knavs. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "British Paper Agrees to Pay Melania Trump "Substantial Damages" Over "False Statements"," 28 Jan. 2019 Who could forget the conspiracy theories surrounding Taylor Swift’s naval — not to mention the follow-up memes. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Photo of Gigi Hadid's "Missing" Belly Button Is a Total Optical Illusion," 13 Jan. 2019 With the rover beginning its exploration, the Chinese government announced its name: Yuta 2, the follow-up to the original Yuta rover which began exploring the moon in 2013. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "China's Rover Sends Back Pictures From the Far Side of the Moon," 7 Jan. 2019 Meghan was making a follow-up visit to the Hubb Community Kitchen after releasing a cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook, with them and wore a full coat and dress look from Club Monaco. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Club Monaco Coat Is on Sale," 4 Jan. 2019 Vanguard Records’ three-disc set of recordings gathered from this and a follow-up concert on Christmas Eve 1939 is out-of-print, but several fans have posted the audio to YouTube. John Edward Hasse, WSJ, "The Concert That Changed Music History," 24 Dec. 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.

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

10 Mar 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

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!