pur·​sue | \ pər-ˈsü How to pronounce pursue (audio) , -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

Other Words from pursue

pursuer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pursue



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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 This sets the stage for a negative, self-perpetuating cycle that both limits the organization’s ability to keep customers and pursue new opportunities. Mike Capone, Forbes, 23 May 2022 Further muddying the picture is the trial Judge Thomas Moukawsher, following the 2019 verdict, lifted restrictions that would allow a new developer to pursue building apartments, retail and entertainment space and parking garages. Ted Glanzer, Hartford Courant, 19 May 2022 Some of the young Utahns will either pick up sport for the first time or will continue being inspired by sport and continuing to pursue their dreams. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 May 2022 With the Chinese government continuing to pursue its zero-COVID strategy, Shanghai has been stuck in lockdown for more than six weeks, leading to new disruptions in production for the U.S. carmaker. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 10 May 2022 Butler is continuing to pursue 6-11 shot-blocker Manny Bates of North Carolina State. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 27 Apr. 2022 The universities that surround it—along with others in the area—produce roughly 42,000 graduates annually, according to the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and many students stay to pursue job opportunities. Bryan Mena, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 But hardly any of those expecting a refund plan to spend it on something special or fun, and fewer than a third will be using it to either boost their savings or to pursue investment opportunities. Fred Backus, CBS News, 18 Apr. 2022 Alvin Bragg, in his first public comments about the inquiry into the former president, insisted his office was continuing to pursue the matter but provided few additional details. New York Times, 7 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Time Traveler for pursue

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near pursue

pursuant to



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Statistics for pursue

Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pursue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pursue. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pursue


pur·​sue | \ pər-ˈsü How to pronounce pursue (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on pursue

Nglish: Translation of pursue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pursue for Arabic Speakers


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