Thesaurus

pursue

verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Cite this Entry

“Pursue.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/pursue. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pursue

Dictionary: Definition of pursue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!