fol·​low | \ ˈfä-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce follow (audio) \
followed; following; follows

Definition of follow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to go, proceed, or come after followed the guide
2a : to engage in as a calling or way of life : pursue wheat-growing is generally followed here
b : to walk or proceed along follow a path
3a : to be or act in accordance with follow directions
b : to accept as authority : obey followed his conscience
4a : to pursue in an effort to overtake Police followed the robbers attempting to escape.
b : to seek to attain follow knowledge
5 : to come into existence or take place as a result or consequence of disaster followed the blunder
6a : to come or take place after in time, sequence, or order A juggling act followed the singer.
b : to cause to be followed followed dinner with a liqueur
7 : to copy after : imitate the new building follows the facades and roof lines of the original buildings— Maxwell Mays
8a : to watch steadily followed the flight of the ball
b : to keep the mind on follow a speech
c : to attend closely to : keep abreast of followed his career with interest
d : to understand the sense or logic of (something, such as a line of thought) I don't quite follow your thinking.
e : to subscribe to the feed of (someone or something) especially on social media Follow us on Facebook/Twitter.

intransitive verb

1 : to go or come after a person or thing in place, time, or sequence If one sheep goes through the gate, the rest will follow.
2 : to result or occur as a consequence, effect, or inference Just because he's done some bad things, does it follow that he is a bad person?
as follows
: as comes next used impersonally The names of the winners are as follows: Mary, James, and Sylvia.
follow one's nose
1 : to go in a straight or obvious course Just follow your nose until you get there; you can't miss it.
2 : to proceed without plan or reflection : obey one's instincts You don't need my advice—just follow your nose.
follow suit
1 : to play a card of the same suit as the card led
2 : to follow an example set When one airline lowers its fares, the others usually follow suit.



Definition of follow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of following
2 : forward spin given to a ball by striking it above center — compare draw, english

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Synonyms & Antonyms for follow

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for follow


follow, succeed, ensue, supervene mean to come after something or someone. follow may apply to a coming after in time, position, or logical sequence. speeches followed the dinner succeed implies a coming after immediately in a sequence determined by natural order, inheritance, election, or laws of rank. she succeeded her father as head of the business ensue commonly suggests a logical consequence or naturally expected development. after the talk a general discussion ensued supervene suggests the following or beginning of something unforeseen or unpredictable. unable to continue because of supervening circumstances

synonyms see in addition chase

Examples of follow in a Sentence

Verb She followed us into the kitchen. The dog followed the children home. The exit is right this way. Just follow me. The children went home and the dog followed behind. If one sheep goes through the gate, the rest will follow. The number 15 follows 14. Her accident was followed by a long period of recovery. First came the student speeches, and the presentation of awards followed. Rioting followed the unjust verdict. If you work hard, success will surely follow.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Keep up with all the action from the game here and follow Louisville football beat writer Cameron Teague Robinson @cj_teague for by-the-minute updates. Reina Kempt, The Courier-Journal, 7 Sep. 2021 Those events, combined with their upbringing on military bases, inspired the sisters to follow their parents into the military. Eleanor Watson, CBS News, 7 Sep. 2021 Her team will also start to follow candidates throughout the hiring process and try to keep them engaged and interested, Talley said. Stephanie Casanova,, 7 Sep. 2021 But ask the chattering class about the mayoral race, and the ones who follow politics closely predict Essaibi George will be in the final., 7 Sep. 2021 Curtis Blair, president and CEO of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, said many businesses in his area would prefer to have freedom over their policies rather than have to follow government mandates. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Sep. 2021 These swells are expected to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions and beachgoers and other interests were urged to follow the guidance of lifeguards and local officials. Julia Musto, Fox News, 7 Sep. 2021 The decision for Monster to follow Busch wasn’t a difficult one. Greg Engle, Forbes, 6 Sep. 2021 In a follow-up post, the foundation released a statement on behalf of Coleman's father, Hal, who serves as the treasurer of the AWARE Foundation. Joelle Goldstein,, 6 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Requires additional work in your post-purchase follow-up. Aparajeeta Das, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 Moving forward, Dr Morris notes that home testing for HPV may be available on the NHS with the appropriate follow-up and support. Vicky Spratt,, 6 Sep. 2021 Wootliff’s follow-up sees the British director expanding her formal register into harder, spikier territory — sealing her status as one of the British industry’s most interesting new talents. Guy Lodge, Variety, 4 Sep. 2021 The Tigers are coming off a disappointing follow-up to their 2019 national title run and will be eager to start this campaign right. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, 4 Sep. 2021 A few minutes later, after a follow-up on exactly how the sideline opened up so clearly, the redshirt freshman made a confession. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 3 Sep. 2021 In the wake of the massive success of their first folk-rock collaboration, 2007’s Raising Sand, Plant and Krauss started work on a follow-up that never materialized. Dan Reilly, Vulture, 3 Sep. 2021 In a follow-up to the tweet, Lil Nas shared another photo, this time of a sonogram. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 2 Sep. 2021 The President clearly wanted to give a presidential speech to mark the end of America's longest war and to avoid a wonky to-do list for the challenging follow-up that might be more appropriate for a Secretary of State. Aaron David Miller, CNN, 31 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'follow.' 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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for follow

Verb and Noun

Middle English folwen, from Old English folgian; akin to Old High German folgēn to follow

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Time Traveler for follow

Time Traveler

The first known use of follow was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near follow



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Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Follow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for follow



English Language Learners Definition of follow

: to go or come after or behind (someone or something)
: to go after or behind (someone) secretly and watch to find out what happens
: to come after (something) in time or place or as part of a series


fol·​low | \ ˈfä-lō How to pronounce follow (audio) \
followed; following

Kids Definition of follow

1 : to go or come after or behind The dog followed me home.
2 : to come after in time or place Spring follows winter.
3 : to go on the track of Police followed a clue.
4 : to go along or beside Follow that path.
5 : to be led or guided by : obey Follow the instructions.
6 : to result from Panic followed the fire.
7 : to work in or at something as a way of life He followed the sea.
8 : to watch or pay attention to Just follow the bouncing ball.
9 : understand sense 1 I'm not following this story.
follow suit
1 : to play a card that belongs to the same suit as the one first played
2 : to do the same thing someone else has just done
follow through
: to complete something started You must follow through on your promise.
follow up
: to take additional similar or related action I followed up my email with a phone call.

Other Words from follow

follower \ ˈfäl-​ə-​wər \ noun


transitive verb

Legal Definition of follow

: to be in accordance with (a prior decision) : accept as authoritative — see also precedent — compare overrule

More from Merriam-Webster on follow

Nglish: Translation of follow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of follow for Arabic Speakers


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