pur·​suit | \ pər-ˈsüt How to pronounce pursuit (audio) , -ˈsyüt \

Definition of pursuit

1 : the act of pursuing
2 : an activity that one engages in as a vocation, profession, or avocation : occupation

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Choose the Right Synonym for pursuit

work, employment, occupation, calling, pursuit, métier, business mean a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living. work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not. her work as a hospital volunteer employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer. your employment with this firm is hereby terminated occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training. his occupation as a trained auto mechanic calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession. the ministry seemed my true calling pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest. her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted. acting was my one and only métier business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs. the business of managing a hotel

Examples of pursuit in a Sentence

The hounds were running in the woods in pursuit of a fox. She enjoys reading, knitting, and other quiet pursuits.
Recent Examples on the Web Next on their agenda is the pursuit of the study and plan for drainage in the county. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "County sets agenda to plan for 2020 growth," 14 Jan. 2020 That pursuit wasn’t in response to media questions earlier this week about the potential for missing the NCAA Tournament. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "Time for UC Bearcats basketball 'to take the next step' on the road at UCF," 10 Jan. 2020 Wright’s pursuit of higher learning was hardly a foregone conclusion. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, ExpressNews.com, "‘The goal is living a life of purpose,’ says a San Antonio senior working toward a doctorate," 4 Jan. 2020 The pursuit was short-lived and stayed within the speed limit, East Hartford Lt. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Driver backs into East Hartford police car, sparking chase, arrests, police say," 6 Dec. 2019 While the pursuit is not commonly associated with Montgomery County — a jurisdiction of 1.1 million residents that includes countless lawyers, lobbyists and scientists — cockfighting is not unheard of, according to Koenig. Washington Post, "This D.C. suburb — known for its lawyers, lobbyists and scientists — was also home to a breeding operation for cockfighting, police allege," 4 Dec. 2019 Even then, no one, least of all Benson, could have predicted how relentless the Navy’s pursuit of him would be. Megan Rose, ProPublica, "Blame Over Justice: The Human Toll of the Navy’s Relentless Push to Punish One of Its Own," 20 Nov. 2019 Though the pursuit of liberty has been part of American history for centuries, the denial of that very ideal has been part of the story for just as long—and Lincoln was mindful of that history too. Richard Brookhiser, Time, "Lincoln's Gettysburg Address Honored Ideals Far Older Than Four Score and Seven Years," 19 Nov. 2019 In America’s long war versus those who commit terror, the pursuit of these two noble aims isn’t synonymous. Chicago Tribune, Twin Cities, "Other voices: The U.S. delivers justice to al-Baghdadi," 28 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pursuit.' 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 pursuit

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pursuit

Middle English, from Anglo-French pursute, from pursure

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Time Traveler for pursuit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pursuit

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pursuit.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pursuit. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for pursuit


How to pronounce pursuit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pursuit

: the act of following or chasing someone or something
: an attempt to find, achieve, or get something
: an activity that is done for pleasure


pur·​suit | \ pər-ˈsüt How to pronounce pursuit (audio) \

Kids Definition of pursuit

1 : the act of chasing, following, or trying to obtain the pursuit of wealth
2 : activity sense 2, occupation the pursuit of teaching

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More from Merriam-Webster on pursuit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pursuit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pursuit

Spanish Central: Translation of pursuit

Nglish: Translation of pursuit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pursuit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pursuit

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


a feeling of well-being or elation

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