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 Thanks to Phil Nikel, Michael Randow, Chuck Sarratt, Norbert Schneider, and Pat Shoemaker and to David Carlson, Bexar County archivist, and other staff at the County Clerk’s office who followed up on these and other leads. Paula Allen,, "Complex route leads to simple reason for San Antonio road’s name," 31 Aug. 2019 Kaden Duncan continued his impressive season in the 11-12 boys age group and Lindsay Shank followed up her victory in the novice championship meet with another solid performance in the 13-14 girls age group. Rick Culbertson,, "Ramsland, Breschi bring home titles for Aberdeen Dive Team," 6 Aug. 2019 Those effects contributed to a shock profit warning in February and, barely a month later, Tui has followed up with another one. Washington Post, "Holiday Giant Pays a Price for Grounded 737 Max," 18 Sep. 2019 The Terps followed up with records of 11-3 and 10-3, beating Tennessee in the Peach Bowl in 2002 and West Virginia in the Gator Bowl in 2003. Don Markus,, "Former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen returning as honorary captain for game against No. 13 Penn State," 17 Sep. 2019 Wolves follow up this disappointing display against Chelsea with a midweek Europa League match at home to Portuguese side Braga, and then the Midlands club travel to Crystal Palace in their next Premier League fixture., "Wolves 2-5 Chelsea: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Tammy Abraham Runs Riot in Mad Molineux Encounter," 14 Sep. 2019 Redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Robison followed up his solid performance against Ohio State with a subpar showing versus UCF. Khobi Price,, "Game time: Fast facts, keys to FAU at Ball State on Saturday," 13 Sep. 2019 The magazine followed up that popular, Pulitzer Prize-winning piece with a podcast about a Cascadia earthquake and then a sequel article, about Oregon’s tsunami risk. oregonlive, "Mt. Hood volcano could erupt with little warning and devastating consequences, New York Times warns," 11 Sep. 2019 The campaign never followed up, and by midsummer Harris’ glow had dimmed considerably. Los Angeles Times, "Can Kamala Harris recapture the magic? She gets a shot in Thursday’s debate," 10 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

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