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 The eye-catching options, which follow up previous offerings like Midnight Black and Cosmic Red to complete what is being dubbed the Galaxy Collection, are available to pre-order for both the digital and disc-drive PS5 hardware variants. Mitch Wallace, Forbes, 17 May 2022 DeSantis said the legislature has time to follow up on the new law before Reedy Creek must be dissolved. Jay Croft, CNN, 29 Apr. 2022 Police noted on April 20 that the deadline passed and there appeared to be nothing to follow up on. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 20 Apr. 2022 Detectives investigating nonfatal shootings, meanwhile, are often non-specialists handling a variety of crimes and don’t follow up beyond initial investigations. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, 3 June 2022 Too many companies schedule an initial kickoff meeting but don’t follow up with subsequent meetings, which can lead to a breakdown in communication. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 3 June 2022 Under his leadership in 2020, the West Precinct launched a special task force that successfully increased the removal of guns off the streets and focused on high engagement and follow up on cases which led to greater solvability. Carol Robinson |, al, 2 June 2022 Simply use a small amount and follow up with Sachajuan Normal Hair Conditioner for gorgeous hair. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 May 2022 On Monday, jurors heard Villalaz describe the burns form the acid, his two days in the hospital and follow up treatments. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of follow-up was in 1637

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Dictionary Entries Near follow-up

follow through on/with


follow up

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Cite this Entry

“Follow-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for follow-up


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

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

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

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