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 Spain recently limited annual rent hikes, and Barcelona followed up with even stricter rules. The Economist, "Europe embraces rent controls, a policy that never works," 18 July 2019 But the concept really came into focus came when Lambrinidis confronted the vast swaths of empty wall space in the home — and then followed up with Castillo. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "What does San Angelo have that Dallas doesn’t? Here’s how the West Texas town ended up on the global stage," 25 June 2019 Oregon drove for a touchdown and Slovis followed up with a terrible pick-six. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Football Four: Top 5 unchanged, but Oregon, Utah and Georgia move into prime position," 3 Nov. 2019 The team has the task of following up a rare World Cup double and maintaining the high levels of success that have defined the program since its creation. Pardeep Cattry, Pro Soccer USA, "Vlatko Andonovski looks to evolve, not change USWNT as next head coach," 29 Oct. 2019 This coordinator’s job is to stay in touch with patients during their hospital stay and follow up with them for 30 days after discharge, connecting them with treatment and resources along the way. Katie Rice,, "AdventHealth, Seminole County officials announce partnership to fight opioid epidemic," 25 Oct. 2019 Rosatom signed a nuclear memorandum with Nigeria for the development of a plant in Akwa Ibom and Kogi states in 2017, but there has been little follow up. Joe Penney, Quartz Africa, "Vladimir Putin signed dozens of MOUs with African countries this week but can’t match China," 25 Oct. 2019 Blame it on the rain in Athens, Georgia, maybe, but Georgia followed up its loss with another lackluster offensive performance, beating Kentucky 21-0. San Diego Union-Tribune, "AP Top 25 Takeaways: Week before showdown, Wisconsin exposed," 19 Oct. 2019 Candidates spent a week learning how to navigate the corporate world — how to draft emails, follow up with colleagues and ask managers for help or feedback. Ben Casselman, New York Times, "In a Tight Labor Market, a Disability May Not Be a Barrier," 5 Sep. 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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Statistics for follow-up

Time Traveler for follow-up

The first known use of follow-up was in 1767

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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

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

Comments on follow-up

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to engage in dissolute behavior

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