follow

1 of 2

verb

fol·​low ˈfä-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce follow (audio)
followed; following; follows

transitive verb

1
: to go, proceed, or come after
followed the guide
2
a
: to engage in as a calling or way of life : pursue
wheat-growing is generally followed here
b
: to walk or proceed along
follow a path
3
a
: to be or act in accordance with
follow directions
b
: to accept as authority : obey
followed his conscience
4
a
: to pursue in an effort to overtake
Police followed the robbers attempting to escape.
b
: to seek to attain
follow knowledge
5
: to come into existence or take place as a result or consequence of
disaster followed the blunder
6
a
: to come or take place after in time, sequence, or order
A juggling act followed the singer.
b
: to cause to be followed
followed dinner with a liqueur
7
: to copy after : imitate
the new building follows the facades and roof lines of the original buildings Maxwell Mays
8
a
: to watch steadily
followed the flight of the ball
b
: to keep the mind on
follow a speech
c
: to attend closely to : keep abreast of
followed his career with interest
d
: to understand the sense or logic of (something, such as a line of thought)
I don't quite follow your thinking.
e
: to subscribe to the feed of (someone or something) especially on social media
Follow us on Facebook/Twitter.

intransitive verb

1
: to go or come after a person or thing in place, time, or sequence
If one sheep goes through the gate, the rest will follow.
2
: to result or occur as a consequence, effect, or inference
Just because he's done some bad things, does it follow that he is a bad person?

follow

2 of 2

noun

1
: the act or process of following
2
: forward spin given to a ball by striking it above center compare draw, english
Phrases
as follows
: as comes next
used impersonally
The names of the winners are as follows: Mary, James, and Sylvia.
follow one's nose
1
: to go in a straight or obvious course
Just follow your nose until you get there; you can't miss it.
2
: to proceed without plan or reflection : obey one's instincts
You don't need my advice—just follow your nose.
follow suit
1
: to play a card of the same suit as the card led
2
: to follow an example set
When one airline lowers its fares, the others usually follow suit.
Choose the Right Synonym for follow

follow, succeed, ensue, supervene mean to come after something or someone.

follow may apply to a coming after in time, position, or logical sequence.

speeches followed the dinner

succeed implies a coming after immediately in a sequence determined by natural order, inheritance, election, or laws of rank.

she succeeded her father as head of the business

ensue commonly suggests a logical consequence or naturally expected development.

after the talk a general discussion ensued

supervene suggests the following or beginning of something unforeseen or unpredictable.

unable to continue because of supervening circumstances

synonyms see in addition chase

Example Sentences

Verb She followed us into the kitchen. The dog followed the children home. The exit is right this way. Just follow me. The children went home and the dog followed behind. If one sheep goes through the gate, the rest will follow. The number 15 follows 14. Her accident was followed by a long period of recovery. First came the student speeches, and the presentation of awards followed. Rioting followed the unjust verdict. If you work hard, success will surely follow. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The Student Borrower Protection Center is holding regular webinars on how to follow the changing policy in the coming months. CBS News, 18 Nov. 2022 Pepperdine and LaSalle play Friday at 5:15 p.m. with the Seawolves and University of California Riverside set to follow at 7:30 p.m. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Nov. 2022 To top it all off, our experts found the label directions were excellent and very easy to follow. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, 18 Nov. 2022 Other top law schools now are weighing whether to follow suit or to stay put and capitalize on the chance to jump up a few spots. Melissa Korn, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 The Hornet is expected to go on sale soon, with the Tonale set to follow early next year. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 18 Nov. 2022 Likewise, Majors has plans to follow Powell’s lead and learn to fly for real. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 17 Nov. 2022 Variety reported that the show will allow the audience to follow a day in Biggie’s life through a narrative journey written and voiced by music journalist Touré. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 17 Nov. 2022 Read the instructions that come with your kit and follow them step by step. Belle Duchene, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Nov. 2022
Noun
From there, there was an invitation to the Heat’s summer program, a follow-up invite to the team’s training camp, and then a small guarantee extended to get him to the team’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, at the start of this season. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 20 Nov. 2022 Having schools without a rigorous follow-up, and without giving future perspectives to its graduates neither. Liza Foreman, Variety, 19 Nov. 2022 This film is a follow-up to 2020’s four-part Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, and one of a slew of streaming projects revisiting Maxwell’s actions in the service of the predator who died in prison in 2019. Andy Meek, BGR, 19 Nov. 2022 About 20 minutes after his first email, Musk sent a follow-up to address remote workers. Kylie Robison, Fortune, 18 Nov. 2022 The announcement came as a follow-up to a tweet in which Musk attempted to clarify what the platform’s content moderation policies will be under his leadership. Clare Duffy, CNN, 18 Nov. 2022 The manager explained that Carter had been working on a new album — which would’ve served as a follow-up to 2018’s Love — at the time of his Nov. 5 death at the age of 34. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 18 Nov. 2022 Tedde Moore, who played Ralphie Parker's teacher Miss Shields, was the only A Christmas Story cast member to reprise her role for the follow-up 1994 film A Summer Story. Zoey Lyttle, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2022 Judge Edward Davila will schedule a follow-up hearing to determine what Holmes owes in restitution. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 18 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'follow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

Middle English folwen, from Old English folgian; akin to Old High German folgēn to follow

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of follow was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near follow

Cite this Entry

“Follow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/follow. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

follow 1 of 2

verb

ˈfäl-ō
1
: to go or come after or behind
2
: to be guided by : obey
follow your conscience
follow instructions
3
: to go after or on the track of
follow that car
4
: to go along
follow a path
5
: to work in or at something as a business or way of life
follow the sea
6
: to come after in order of rank or natural sequence
two follows one
7
: to keep one's attention fixed on
follow a speech
8
: to result from something
fame followed the captain's success
9
: to understand the sense or logic of
10
: to subscribe to the feed of (someone or something) especially on social media
follow suit
1
: to play a card of the same suit as the card led
2
: to follow an example set

follow

2 of 2

noun

: the act or process of following

Legal Definition

follow

transitive verb

fol·​low
: to be in accordance with (a prior decision) : accept as authoritative see also precedent compare overrule

More from Merriam-Webster on follow

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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