pursue

verb
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

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

Isabella Rose Giannulli Isabella, the elder daughter of Loughlin and Giannulli, has been pursuing a career in acting. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Lori Loughlin and Her Husband Mossimo Giannulli Became Involved in the College Admissions Scandal," 13 Mar. 2019 The driver who Manning was pursuing crashed into a nearby ditch, left his vehicle and ran away from the scene, authorities said. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Officers killed in the line of duty in 2018," 19 Sep. 2018 One of the most prominent articles was published Wednesday in Kommersant, which says Russian investigators are vigorously pursuing the claim that Americans may have damaged the Soyuz deliberately. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Russian theory that NASA sabotaged the space station spreading like wildfire," 12 Sep. 2018 This technology is being pursued by other air forces, including the U.S. Air Force. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.K. Promises to Develop Drone Swarms, But on an Unrealistic Timetable," 12 Feb. 2019 Although there’s not a wealth of science on the subject (can researchers pursue that a little more fervently, please?), many experts believe masturbation can improve your wellbeing in various ways. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "14 Benefits of Female Masturbation and Why Every Woman Should Do It," 31 Dec. 2018 Assange had been pursued by Swedish prosecutors on a rape charge from 2010 that was dropped last year. Kenneth P. Vogel, The Seattle Times, "Manafort tried to broker deal with Ecuador to hand Assange over to U.S.," 3 Dec. 2018 The 39-year-old went to Princeton for college before pursuing a joint degree in business and public administration from Harvard. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "What Michael Bloomberg's Daughters Think of His Decision Not to Run for President," 9 Mar. 2019 Watching Bill Murray is fun, watching Bill Murray struggle is really fun, and watching Bill Murray caught in a space-time logjam, wrestling with moral philosophy while pursuing Andie MacDowell is the most fun. . Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019

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

15 Apr 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 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

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

to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!