hot pursuit


: close and avid or intense pursuit
specifically : close continuous pursuit of a fleeing suspected lawbreaker or hostile military force especially across territorial lines

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But even as actual Nazis give hot pursuit, her biggest problem in many respects is Capt. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 29 Aug. 2022 The more likely scenario consists of being in such hot pursuit of optimization that the meaning of the factors being used is neglected or not immediately grasped as problematic. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 7 July 2022 On a street near Union Square, the city’s shopping hub, Santa Claus is seen in hot pursuit of a Grinch-like character who is holding a bag of loot. Joel Umanzor, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Dec. 2022 In the dead of a moonless night, lost in a bayou, with slave trackers in hot pursuit, all hope seems lost. Bruce Handy, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2022 But be warned: Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox are in hot pursuit of this wayward hare. Ben Flanagan |, al, 2 Dec. 2022 On a third and 11 in the second quarter Phillips and Ingram flushed Allen out of the pocket and Phillips stayed in hot pursuit as Allen scrambled for a five-yard gain. Steve Svekis, Sun Sentinel, 27 Nov. 2022 Kentucky remains in hot pursuit, as Knox also visited Lexington this fall for Big Blue Madness. The Courier-Journal, 31 Oct. 2022 Now the city is in hot pursuit of the No. 1 spot on the list. Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press, 29 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hot pursuit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1743, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hot pursuit was in 1743

Dictionary Entries Near hot pursuit

Cite this Entry

“Hot pursuit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Legal Definition

hot pursuit

hot pur·​suit
: the immediate and continuous pursuit by police officers of a fleeing suspect whose possible escape justifies the failure of the officers to obtain a warrant before making an entry, search, seizure, or arrest

More from Merriam-Webster on hot pursuit

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