verb (used with object)

  1. to come after in sequence, order of time, etc.: The speech follows the dinner.
  2. to go or come after; move behind in the same direction: Drive ahead, and I’ll follow you.
  3. to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to: Many Germans followed Hitler.
  4. to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey: to follow orders; to follow advice.
  5. to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar: They follow the latest fads.
  6. to move forward along (a road, path, etc.): Follow this road for a mile.
  7. to come after as a result or consequence; result from: Reprisals often follow victory.
  8. to go after or along with (a person) as companion.
  9. to go in pursuit of: to follow an enemy.
  10. to try for or attain to: to follow an ideal.
  11. to engage in or be concerned with as a pursuit: He followed the sea as his true calling.
  12. to watch the movements, progress, or course of: to follow a bird in flight.
  13. to watch the development of or keep up with: to follow the news.
  14. to keep up with and understand (an argument, story, etc.): Do you follow me?

verb (used without object)

  1. to come next after something else in sequence, order of time, etc.
  2. to happen or occur after something else; come next as an event: After the defeat great disorder followed.
  3. to attend or serve.
  4. to go or come after a person or thing in motion.
  5. to result as an effect; occur as a consequence: It follows then that he must be innocent.


  1. the act of following.
  2. Billiards, Pool. follow shot(def 2).
  3. follow-up(def 3).

Verb Phrases

  1. follow out, to carry to a conclusion; execute: They followed out their orders to the letter.
  2. follow through,
    1. to carry out fully, as a stroke of a club in golf, a racket in tennis, etc.
    2. to continue an effort, plan, proposal, policy, etc., to its completion.
  3. follow up,
    1. to pursue closely and tenaciously.
    2. to increase the effectiveness of by further action or repetition.
    3. to pursue to a solution or conclusion.


  1. follow suit. suit(def 21).


  1. to go or come after in the same directionhe followed his friend home
  2. (tr) to accompany; attendshe followed her sister everywhere
  3. to come after as a logical or natural consequence
  4. (tr) to keep to the course or track ofshe followed the towpath
  5. (tr) to act in accordance with; obeyto follow instructions
  6. (tr) to accept the ideas or beliefs of (a previous authority, etc)he followed Donne in most of his teachings
  7. to understand (an explanation, argument, etc)the lesson was difficult to follow
  8. to watch closely or continuouslyshe followed his progress carefully
  9. (tr) to have a keen interest into follow athletics
  10. (tr) to help in the cause of or accept the leadership ofthe men who followed Napoleon
  11. (tr) to choose to receive messages posted by (a blogger or microblogger)I’ve been following her online
  12. (tr) rare to earn a living at or into follow the Navy
  13. follow suit cards
    1. to play a card of the same suit as the card played immediately before it
    2. to do the same as someone else


  1. billiards snooker
    1. a forward spin imparted to a cue ball causing it to roll after the object ball
    2. a shot made in this way

v.Old English folgian, fylgan “follow, accompany; follow after, pursue,” also “obey, apply oneself to a practice or calling,” from West Germanic *fulg- (cf. Old Saxon folgon, Old Frisian folgia, Middle Dutch volghen, Dutch volgen, Old High German folgen, German folgen, Old Norse fylgja “to follow”). Probably originally a compound, *full-gan with a sense of “full-going;” the sense then shifting to “serve, go with as an attendant” (cf. fulfill). Related: Followed; following. To follow one’s nose “go straight on” first attested 1590s. “The full phrase is, ‘Follow your nose, and you are sure to go straight.’ ” [Farmer]. In addition to the idioms beginning with follow

  • follow along
  • follow in someone’s footsteps
  • follow one’s nose
  • follow out
  • follow suit
  • follow the crowd
  • follow through
  • follow up
  • also see:

  • as follows
  • camp follower
  • hard act to follow
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