follow

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
: to go, proceed, or come after
followed the guide
2
a
: 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
3
a
: to be or act in accordance with
follow directions
b
: to accept as authority : obey
followed his conscience
4
a
: 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
6
a
: 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 buildingsMaxwell Mays
8
a
: 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?

follow

2 of 2

noun

1
: the act or process of following
2
: forward spin given to a ball by striking it above center compare draw, english
Phrases
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.
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Insurers in turn followed Vullo's lead, fearing regulatory hostility. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 30 May 2024 The new contract follows Miami’s decision earlier this month to trigger Waddle’s fifth-year option, which guaranteed the 25-year-old $15.6 million for the 2025 season. Omar Kelly, Miami Herald, 30 May 2024 Stovall followed institutional procedures and notified the chief of the campus police, who took no further action, the statement says. Nicole Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 30 May 2024 Overland Park, Kansas, took second place with a total score of 70.1, followed by Irvine in third place with 69. Source: WalletHub Where is the best place to raise a family in the U.S.? Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 30 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for follow 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'follow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near follow

Cite this Entry

“Follow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/follow. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

follow

1 of 2 verb
ˈfäl-ō
1
: to go or come after or behind
2
: to be guided by : obey
follow your conscience
follow instructions
3
: to go after or on the track of
follow that car
4
: to go along
follow a path
5
: to work in or at something as a business or way of life
follow the sea
6
: to come after in order of rank or natural sequence
two follows one
7
: to keep one's attention fixed on
follow a speech
8
: to result from something
fame followed the captain's success
9
: to understand the sense or logic of
10
: to subscribe to the feed of (someone or something) especially on social media

follow

2 of 2 noun
: the act or process of following

Legal Definition

follow

transitive verb
fol·​low
: to be in accordance with (a prior decision) : accept as authoritative see also precedent compare overrule

More from Merriam-Webster on follow

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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