fol·​low-up | \ ˈfä-lō-ˌəp How to pronounce follow-up (audio) \

Definition of follow-up

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the act or an instance of following up
b : something that follows up
2 : maintenance of contact with or reexamination of a person (such as a patient) especially following treatment The surgeon scheduled a follow-up with his patient a week after the surgery.
3 : a news story presenting new information on a story published earlier A few days after the story broke, the newspaper printed a follow-up.



Definition of follow-up (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being something that follows up follow-up action by the police— Frank Faulkner had a few follow-up questions after the interview
2 : done, conducted, or administered in the course of following up persons follow-up care for discharged hospital patients

follow up

followed up; following up; follows up

Definition of follow up (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to follow with something similar, related, or supplementary following up his convictions with action— G. P. Merrill She followed up her first novel with a second one.
2 : to maintain contact with (a person) so as to monitor the effects of earlier activities or treatments All patients were followed up clinically for four months.
3 : to pursue in an effort to take further action the police are following up leads

intransitive verb

: to take appropriate action follow up on complaints

Examples of follow-up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Maryland’s site at the Six Flags America theme park will continue preliminary shots until June 26 and will follow up with second shots through July 17. Alex Mann,, 3 June 2021 United will follow up that flight with new service to Hilton Head, S.C., scheduled to take off from CVG at 1:37 p.m. Randy Tucker, The Enquirer, 26 May 2021 The leaders addressed a wide range of issues but were silent on Minnesota's devastated hospitality industry and how the state will follow up on its declarations to aid recovery for these businesses. Liz Rammer, Star Tribune, 26 May 2021 Test results are entered online, allowing public-health officials to track infection and arrange follow up tests. Jason Douglas, WSJ, 3 May 2021 To paint efficiently, use a hot-dog-size roller to get paint onto the surface, and follow up immediately with a brush to whisk away globs in corners and in beadboard grooves; the brush can also level bumps left by the roller. Washington Post, 3 May 2021 Prune unwanted seedlings from fence lines and other areas and then follow up with a product such a Cut Vine and Stump Killer to kill the root system. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 30 Apr. 2021 Contact the college, speak to an official in the financial aid office, write down his or her name, ask how to appeal and follow up with the same person. Susan Paterno, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 Instead, inspection records show, the Bay at Nu-Roc was cited for violating grievance procedures because an administrator failed to document and follow up on employee complaints about understaffing., 9 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'follow-up.' 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-up


1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1637, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for follow-up

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The first known use of follow-up was in 1637

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Statistics for follow-up

Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Follow-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for follow-up



English Language Learners Definition of follow-up

: something that continues or completes a process or activity


fol·​low-up | \ ˈfäl-ə-ˌwəp, ˌfäl- How to pronounce follow-up (audio) \

Medical Definition of follow-up

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: maintenance of contact with a patient at one or more designated intervals following diagnosis or treatment especially to examine again or monitor the progress of therapy also : an instance of such contact At three-month and six-month follow-ups, he had only mild, residual facial swelling on the lower left side. — Meredith August et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 29 Dec. 2005

Other Words from follow-up

follow-up adjective
a follow-up visit follow-up care When ovarian cancer is found, better follow-up procedures and more aggressive chemotherapy are prolonging remissions, even in women with advanced disease. Mayo Clinic Health Letter, January 1992

follow up

transitive verb
\ ˌfäl-ə-ˈwəp How to pronounce follow up (audio) \

Medical Definition of follow up (Entry 2 of 2)

: to maintain contact with (a patient) at one or more designated intervals following diagnosis or treatment especially to examine again or monitor the progress of therapy patients who are followed up after their discharge She was discharged on postoperative day 4 and was followed up in the surgery clinic 19 days postoperatively.— Steven L. Bloom et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 21 Oct. 2010

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for follow-up


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