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

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Examples of follow-up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The first downturn was a 6-month recession in 1980 which was followed up by a recession in 1981 that spilled over into 1982 and lasted 16 months. Ben Carlson, Fortune, "These Charts Show Just How Awful the Economy Was When Paul Volcker Took Over as Fed Chairman," 9 Dec. 2019 According to the suit, Belcher went to an urgent care center immediately after the incident and followed up by going to Century Wellness Center in California for an ENT evaluation and MRI the next day. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Colts QB Chad Kelly facing civil lawsuits stemming from night of 2018 trespassing arrest," 3 Dec. 2019 With the help of the Greater Kansas Crime Stoppers and the public, investigators followed up on tips and leads across several states. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, "He escaped from jail in Missouri. Now he's been captured 1,000 miles away in a makeshift bunker," 22 Nov. 2019 Users are assigned a random number for audit purposes in case there is a reason for CBP to follow up in the system. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "How to avoid a long line at customs this holiday season: Download Mobile Passport," 22 Nov. 2019 Overstretched reporters receive promising tips about stories but have no time to follow up., "School board and city council meetings are going uncovered. Overstretched reporters receive promising tips about stories but have no time to follow up. Newspapers publish fewer pages or less frequently or, in hundreds of cases across the country, have shuttered completely.," 21 Nov. 2019 Sarah said, passing the mic to her fiancé Wells who followed up with a joke. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Sarah Hyland Wore the Most Stunning White Dress to Her Engagement Party with Wells Adams," 29 Oct. 2019 Scherzer, for example, is a three-time Cy Young Award winner who followed up yet another stellar regular season by compiling a 1.80 ERA in four appearances in the playoffs; Washington went 4-0 in those games. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Los Viejos -- The Old Guys -- help Nationals make Series," 21 Oct. 2019 Jannik Vestergaard: The highest-scoring defender after five gameweeks, the Dane has followed up the hype with consecutive one-pointers., "Premier League Fantasy Football: Who's Hot and Who's Not in Gameweek 8," 4 Oct. 2019

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


1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1912, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1767, 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 1767

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Cite this Entry

“Follow-up.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for follow-up


How to pronounce follow up (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on follow-up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for follow-up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with follow-up

Spanish Central: Translation of follow-up

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