Synonyms & Antonyms of pursue

1 to go after or on the track of
  • the policeman doggedly pursued the pickpocket through the crowded subway station

Synonyms for pursue

Words Related to pursue

Phrases Synonymous with pursue

Near Antonyms for pursue

Antonyms for pursue

2 to go in search of
  • urged the graduates to pursue personal fulfillment instead of financial success

Synonyms for pursue

Words Related to pursue

Phrases Synonymous with pursue

Near Antonyms for pursue

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About pursue

How is the word pursue distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of pursue are chase, follow, and trail. While all these words mean "to go after or on the track of something or someone," pursue suggests a continuing effort to overtake, reach, or attain.

pursued the criminal through narrow streets

When might chase be a better fit than pursue?

While in some cases nearly identical to pursue, chase implies going swiftly after and trying to overtake something fleeing or running.

a dog chasing a cat

When is it sensible to use follow instead of pursue?

The synonyms follow and pursue are sometimes interchangeable, but follow puts less emphasis upon speed or intent to overtake.

friends followed me home in their car

When would trail be a good substitute for pursue?

In some situations, the words trail and pursue are roughly equivalent. However, trail may stress a following of tracks or traces rather than a visible object.

trail deer

trailed a suspect across the country

Learn More About pursue

Time Traveler for pursue

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near pursue




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Pursue.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on pursue

Nglish: Translation of pursue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pursue for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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