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 Multiple people spoke up in his defense and questioned the validity of the claims, only to have no one, neither the original accuser nor the account owners, follow up to address their concerns. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "The restaurant equity revolution will not be Instagrammed," 21 Dec. 2020 In a professional and friendly tone, convey your gratitude for the offer and then follow up with the reasons that the job warrants better terms. Deborah Acosta, WSJ, "How to Negotiate a Job Offer: The Do’s and Don’ts," 9 Dec. 2020 By Spring of 2021, Harris expects there may be six different vaccines in distribution, all with distinct administration and follow up requirements. al, "Alabama health officer expects governor to extend mask order, calls current rise in cases “mind-boggling”," 4 Dec. 2020 Similarly, in the Farmington Valley towns of Avon and Simsbury, officials said their local police departments partner with the local health district to identify offenders and then follow up with the appropriate response. Jesse Leavenworth,, "Gov. Lamont says towns need to clamp down on Illegal crowds at restaurants in Connecticut, but how much are these episodes contributing to the spread of COVID-19?," 5 Nov. 2020 To avoid any redness and flaking — which are signs that the active form of retinol, a compound called retinoic acid, is working in the skin to make more collagen — start using a retinoid just twice a week and follow up immediately with moisturizer. Julie Ricevuto, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: The Complete Guide to Treating Wrinkles," 5 Nov. 2020 Mike Flanagan's follow up to The Haunting of Hill House is a totally different beast with a new family, new ghosts, and a whole new house to get spooked by., "There Is & There Isn’t A Real Bly Manor," 9 Oct. 2020 Start slow, avoid using alongside other exfoliants, and always follow up with SPF! Jessica Teich, Good Housekeeping, "The Skincare Dictionary: Every Ingredient Explained," 2 Oct. 2020 But if Trump again refuses to denounce violent white supremacist and militia groups and instead gives them a new T-shirt slogan, follow up with more questions! Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "These 5 things must change before the second presidential debate between Trump and Biden," 1 Oct. 2020

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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The first known use of follow-up was in 1767

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Cite this Entry

“Follow-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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