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

Trump will stay in Albuquerque on Monday night, then follow up his rally by flying to the San Francisco Bay area on Tuesday for a luncheon fundraiser. Fox News, "Trump, on offensive, hosts New Mexico rally, aiming to turn the state red," 17 Sep. 2019 In décor news, Michaels announced its new line of yoga skeleton figurines on Aug. 8, following up with selfie skeletons one month later. Andrea Wurzburger,, "'Tis the Season? These Brands and Celebrities Have Been Ready for Halloween (and Christmas) Since July," 13 Sep. 2019 The review is a follow up to Miami Lighthouse’s first report in June, which called out all of the 2020 presidential campaigns for having inaccessible websites. Abigail Abrams, Time, "2020 Presidential Candidates Are Making (Some) Progress On Website Accessibility," 12 Sep. 2019 The deli where a bagel should be followed up with a black-and-white alfajor Carpenters Hall Austin The plate-size cutlet says it all at this way-more-than-a hotel restaurant. Bon Appétit, "Our 50 Nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants 2019," 10 Sep. 2019 On the men's side, the Colombian duo of Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal won their second straight Grand Slam doubles title, following up their Wimbledon triumph by beating Horacio Zeballos and Jamie Murray (7-6, 7-6) in the final. Jon Wertheim,, "50 Parting Thoughts From the 2019 U.S. Open," 8 Sep. 2019 For years, Indian engineers have prepared for a landing near the unexplored South Pole, following up an Indian mission that orbited the moon and helped to confirm the presence of water ice in the lunar craters. New York Times, "India Says It Has Located Chandrayaan-2 Lander on Moon’s Surface," 8 Sep. 2019 Previous SlideNext Slide The Losers Club is all grown up and back in Derry for a final confrontation with Pennywise in IT Chapter Two, Director Andy Muschietti's follow up to his 2017 box office hit, IT. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: IT Chapter Two is overlong, but Pennywise will still haunt your dreams," 6 Sep. 2019 Approximately six years later in early 2009, follow up correspondence from the DOJ noted that little had been done to reverse the problems at the jail. Christopher Harress |, al, "Faulty cell locks in Mobile Metro Jail will take 300 days to replace and cost nearly $700,000," 3 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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The first known use of follow-up was in 1767

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More Definitions for follow-up



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with follow-up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for follow-up

Spanish Central: Translation of follow-up

Comments on follow-up

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to spread over or through

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