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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Mulvaney reportedly scaled back an investigation into the Equifax data breach, relaxed restrictions on often predatory payday lenders, and recommended Congress pursue sweeping changes to the CFPB’s powers. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The Senate just confirmed a director for CFPB who has no background in consumer issues," 6 Dec. 2018 In the resulting shakeup, hacking shifted to the Ministry of State Security, which pursued a more discreet and professional approach. Mara Hvistendahl, WSJ, "‘Dawn of the Code War’ Review: The Cyber Threat Reconsidered," 3 Dec. 2018 While pursuing her law degree, Haaland made ends meet with the assistance of food stamps. Jessica Militare, Glamour, "Deb Haaland Is One of the First Native American Congresswomen. It Only Took Two Centuries.," 9 Nov. 2018 Yeah, the Michael Douglas thing, but the capitalist system works when everyone pursues his own self-interest, maximizes his own income and as if by magic, the invisible hand somehow makes us all better off. Eric Johnson, Recode, "American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed?," 7 Nov. 2018 The police officer pursuing the red truck struck another officer who was deploying spike strips at the time. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Washington police officer killed after being struck by patrol vehicle during pursuit, officials say," 2 Oct. 2018 Expression is critical for the Gemini Venus soul, so those born under this chatty sky find pleasure when pursuing their curiosities. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What the Position of Venus in Your Birth Chart Means for You," 31 July 2018 Apple is reportedly planning to pursue the same strategy as Amazon. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Amazon Fire TV Recast review: the cord cutter’s DVR," 14 Nov. 2018 The case of Curtis Flowers — and the story of what happens next, both for him and the district attorney who has pursued him relentlessly in six trials over 21 years — is not over. Aja Romano, Vox, "Curtis Flowers was tried 6 times for the same crime. Now the Supreme Court will hear his case.," 6 Nov. 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.

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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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Statistics for pursue

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pursue

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

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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

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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

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