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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Within a month of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, the world was truly at war, and Americans unified in pursuit of victory and vengeance. Jeffrey A. Engel, Twin Cities, "Jeffrey Engel: The lesson of D-Day for Americans today," 6 June 2019 That neighbor may not be Patrick Kane, whose Stanley Cup championship parades with the Blackhawks motivated Rose in pursuit of one for the Bulls. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "9 nuggets from Derrick Rose's coming book, 'I'll Show You' — including his takes on race, the media and the Illini's recruiting fail," 6 June 2019 The run of bad luck continued in the sixth inning when second baseman Hanser Alberto and right fielder DJ Stewart came together in pursuit of a fly ball in foul territory. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles lose three to injury Wednesday as DJ Stewart, Pedro Severino, Jonathan Villar leave game," 6 June 2019 Lowry jumped out of bounds in pursuit of a loose ball, and Stevens, who was sitting courtside, pushed Lowry and simultaneously torpedoed his own public image. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Mark Stevens: Who is the banned Warriors minority owner who pushed Kyle Lowry?," 6 June 2019 IFC Films opens Sword of Trust in select theaters on July 12 Marc Maron is in pursuit of the truth in his latest film. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Marc Maron Is on the Hunt for a Civil War Weapon in Hilarious Trailer for Sword of Trust," 6 June 2019 The addition of Juiston would go a long way in addressing the position scarcity, but Oregon isn’t the only school in pursuit. oregonlive.com, "Shakur Juiston, UNLV graduate transfer, visiting Oregon Ducks: Report," 5 June 2019 As of press time, Lee is still in pursuit of a top prize. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Sweaty fingers, nerves and 6 a.m. Chopin: Behind the scenes at the Cliburn Junior in Dallas," 5 June 2019 Matheys ran, with the killer in pursuit, investigators say. Ivan Moreno, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Arrest in 43-year-old murder case stuns Northwoods town," 4 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pursuit

Statistics for pursuit

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pursuit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pursuit



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pursuit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pursuit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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