pursue

verb
pur·​sue | \ pər-ˈsü , -ˈsyü\
pursued; pursuing

Definition of pursue

transitive verb

1 : to follow in order to overtake, capture, kill, or defeat
2 : to find or employ measures to obtain or accomplish : seek pursue a goal
3 : to proceed along pursues a northern course
4a : to engage in pursue a hobby
b : to follow up or proceed with pursue an argument
5 : to continue to afflict : haunt was pursued by horrible memories
6 : chase entry 2 sense 1c pursued by dozens of fans

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pursue

pursuer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pursue

Synonyms

bird-dog, chase, course, dog, follow, hound, run, shadow, tag, tail, trace, track, trail

Antonyms

guide, lead, pilot

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for pursue

chase, pursue, follow, trail mean to go after or on the track of something or someone. chase implies going swiftly after and trying to overtake something fleeing or running. a dog chasing a cat pursue suggests a continuing effort to overtake, reach, or attain. pursued the criminal through narrow streets follow puts less emphasis upon speed or intent to overtake. friends followed me home in their car trail may stress a following of tracks or traces rather than a visible object. trail deer trailed a suspect across the country

Examples of pursue in a Sentence

It is this peace among the Great Powers—at least for the near term—that makes it truly possible both to pursue my vision of the post-Cold War world and, at the same time, to hedge against failure by maintaining the capacity to protect ourselves and our interests … — Robert S. McNamara, In Retrospect, 1995 The monster truck pursued him at insane speeds, through phone booths and gas pumps and even over cliffs, but he never knew why. — Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone, 14-28 July 1994 In a world of nation-states the assumption that governments will pursue their own interests gives order and predictability to international affairs. — Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., American Heritage, 3 May/June 1994 Hounds pursued the fox for miles. The criminal is being pursued by police. He chose to pursue a college degree. She wants to pursue a legal career.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

While these practices have always been environmentally unfriendly, they have generally been pursued under the notion that nature is fundamentally and infinitely resilient. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "The Staggering Worldwide Decline of Insects Is a Warning of Ecosystem Collapse," 13 Feb. 2019 The Ethics Committee can also decide to pursue further sanctions. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Sexual Harassment on the Hill," 28 Dec. 2018 Sunrun has pursued none of the same cutbacks that Tesla has imposed on SolarCity. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tesla’s SolarCity lost ground to Sunrun in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 The plan hit its first hurdle in September, as a compromise was coming together, when Republican leaders decided to pursue one last chance at Obamacare repeal (with Alexander’s support) rather than rescue the law. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Lamar Alexander, pillar of Washington’s old guard, is retiring from the Senate," 17 Dec. 2018 Unlike their cousins Prince William and Prince Harry, the two sisters have pursued jobs outside of the palace walls over the past few years. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie Do for a Living," 11 Oct. 2018 However, the team decided ultimately not to pursue a deal. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Magic likely done adding through free agency this summer, Weltman says," 10 July 2018 For much of the year, there was little criticism or questioning of the city's decision to pursue the convention. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "Mayor Lyles defends pursuit of Republican convention to skeptical fellow Democrats," 11 July 2018 While Randazzo and his neighbors have been pursuing the situation since 2015, Ald. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "City looks to fix long-time flooding issue in Aurora neighborhood," 10 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of pursue

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pursue

Middle English, from Anglo-French pursure, pursiure, from Latin prosequi, from pro- forward + sequi to follow — more at pro-, sue

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pursue

Statistics for pursue

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pursue

The first known use of pursue was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pursue

pursue

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pursue

: to follow and try to catch or capture (someone or something) for usually a long distance or time
: to try to get or do (something) over a period of time
: to be involved in (an activity)

pursue

verb
pur·​sue | \ pər-ˈsü \
pursued; pursuing

Kids Definition of pursue

1 : to follow after in order to catch or destroy : chase A dog pursued the fleeing cat.
2 : to follow up or proceed with He won't answer, so why pursue it?
3 : to try to get or do over a period of time I've decided to pursue a degree in geography.

Other Words from pursue

pursuer noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pursue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pursue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pursue

Spanish Central: Translation of pursue

Nglish: Translation of pursue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pursue for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pursue

What made you want to look up pursue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!