Definition of follow in English:



  • 1Go or come after (a person or thing proceeding ahead); move or travel behind.

    ‘she went back into the house, and Ben followed her’
    [no object] ‘the men followed in another car’
    • ‘She grabbed the dress and stuck it in her bag before following him outside.’
    • ‘"I can tell, " Rose replied as she followed close behind him.’
    • ‘Carly follows shortly behind and Adam follows her, making sure she doesn't run into anything.’
    • ‘After that she would follow him from behind whenever she saw him, and one day she hoped that he would love her back.’
    • ‘Cathal followed close behind so as not to be left behind on another adventure.’
    • ‘If I get up, the dog will wake up and follow me outside.’
    • ‘Tavisome and Reneeth follow quickly on our heels.’
    • ‘I got up and walked up to the wall, Osake followed close behind.’
    • ‘Gunfire from the other group of guarda, now behind him, followed him as he ran.’
    • ‘Daniel enters, followed in quick succession by Simon, Karen, and Hector.’
    • ‘Given a moment to collect my self, I quickly followed his path out of the bar.’
    • ‘The noise I do not leave behind; the clanging follows me.’
    • ‘Dima was moving hastily up the street as he followed at a slower pace.’
    • ‘She followed at the previous pace, and I was forced to slow my steps.’
    • ‘Darius and Kara just smiled and shook their heads and followed at slower pace.’
    • ‘One of the other young men who were following called out to his leader, the one holding Kitty.’
    • ‘I groaned, but followed him and looked behind me to find everyone else coming too.’
    • ‘My heart leapt into my throat as I crossed my fingers behind my back and followed her to the door.’
    • ‘Housing issues, service delivery and education as government priorities follow at a distance.’
    • ‘Now I let it off the chain and it follows me everywhere, obediently heeling.’
    • ‘He chuckled behind me and followed me to the dinning room without saying a word.’
    • ‘And as he had surmised, twenty more soldiers soon followed in their wake.’
    come behind, come after, go behind, go after, walk behind, tread on the heels of
    accompany, go along with, go around with, travel with, escort, attend, trail around with
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Go after (someone) in order to observe or monitor them.
      ‘the KGB man followed her everywhere’
      • ‘He followed us everywhere with the camera and we reached a point where we really didn't care that he was there.’
      • ‘All of the children were followed for two years, with their symptoms monitored by the researchers.’
      • ‘We follow at a respectful distance so as not to tire the bear unduly.’
      • ‘He was followed some distance and observed by one officer to weave between the lines of the payment.’
      • ‘He moved out from beside the locker he had stood behind and followed her.’
      • ‘It was the first time Scots had seen a man in shorts and I was followed everywhere by an angry mob with pitch forks and burning torches.’
      • ‘The man was followed to a children's playground where his behaviour was observed.’
      • ‘Ray was aware that someone had been following him, watching him.’
      • ‘This guy not only follows us everywhere, he had to invade my thoughts too!’
      • ‘Suspicious, he waited until they had passed and then followed at a distance.’
      • ‘When Vigrass climbed into the driving seat he followed her and watched her mount a kerb.’
      • ‘We waited until he rounded a corner before we climbed out from behind the can and followed him.’
      • ‘Chad had gone to the library in hopes of escaping the gaggle of girls who seemed to follow him around everywhere.’
      • ‘And I expect you to take appropriate precautions that we are not followed or observed.’
      • ‘Glancing at the rear mirror, she noticed that the car behind her was still following her.’
      • ‘Back then, in 1984, it was about the secret policeman who followed him everywhere.’
      • ‘She secretly follows Walter, watching him gather his hockey equipment from his car.’
      • ‘She notices a car behind her and it follows her for quite some time.’
      • ‘Inside the palace a squad of four heavily armed troopers followed me everywhere.’
      • ‘When you see this poor guy being followed everywhere he goes by hordes of people, it's actually terribly sad.’
      shadow, trail, pursue, chase, stalk, hunt, track, dog, hound, course
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2archaic Strive after; aim at.
      ‘I follow fame’
    3. 1.3Go along (a route or path).
      • ‘Turn left at the top of the hill and follow the path along the ridge to Darwen Tower.’
      • ‘Their route plan is to follow the Yukon River to Circle and along the Yukon Flats to Tanana and back to Ruby.’
      • ‘I followed the path as if by instinct and along the trail to my former summer residence.’
      • ‘Students who took part in the fun run followed a circular route along Frome Road, Silver Street Lane and Bradley Road.’
      • ‘The Toe to Tow Marathon is a fall classic that follows the path where mules once pulled barges along the Erie Canal.’
      • ‘Go through this and almost immediately cross the wall stile on the left to follow a path down to meet a crossroads of routes at a track.’
      • ‘My correction on the map follows approximately the current usage route.’
      • ‘With the plot laid out in the first twenty minutes, the rest of the film follows two distinct paths.’
      • ‘Otherwise the route skirts the bottom of the Beacon, and then follows a path to St Agnes village.’
      • ‘All buses will have to follow diversion routes along Bow Lane, Ringway and Corporation Street on Saturday afternoons.’
      • ‘Flight paths are impossible to mine, and aircraft follow less predictable routes.’
      • ‘Ignore the first gate but go through the second and follow a permissive path which leads straight along the river bank.’
      • ‘It will follow the Pennine Cycleway along the canal from Nelson to Greenberfield locks, Barnoldswick, and back.’
      • ‘At present, the only way people can follow the trail routes is by printing the maps from the Swindon Heritage Town Trails website.’
      • ‘He walked four blocks to the big park, then followed a winding path into the bush.’
      • ‘They had turned off the main road, away from the noisy traffic, and were following the winding path that was the street on which they lived.’
      • ‘But I play along, as we follow a bike path past a tank farm, then along the marshy shore of the bay.’
      • ‘Turn left along the riverbank and follow the path to reach the road bridge.’
      • ‘Cross the stile in the wall and follow the path running along the north side of Upper Ogden reservoir.’
      • ‘It's good to follow winding paths along the way to the mountain.’
      • ‘Motorists entering from the south have been advised to follow a route along Devizes Road and down Victoria Road.’
    4. 1.4(of a route or path) go in the same direction as or parallel to (another)
      ‘the road follows the track of the railway line’
      • ‘For those who do not want to follow the main road a twisting path follows the meander of the river and meets the road to Gisburn at Higherford Bridge.’
      • ‘The study identified a 34-mile double track route largely following the old line.’
      • ‘The route follows lightly traveled roads through rolling countryside and scenic farmland.’
      • ‘This is undulating country and for part of the way the road follows the Grey River.’
      • ‘The main cross country ski route follows the summertime seven-mile loop road which accesses many of the main features found at the monument.’
      • ‘The route follows well waymarked paths from Hawkshead across low pastures to the charming settlement of Colthouse.’
      • ‘The path follows the course of the Vézère River.’
      • ‘The original route follows the stream along a narrow winding rift, to where the stream plunges into the final, and longest shaft.’
      • ‘Despite numerous changes around the two-and-a-half mile oval, the track still follows much the same route as it did nearly 100 years ago.’
      • ‘Their route followed the earlier tracks worn by the explorer Major Mitchell.’
      • ‘Alternatively, a tram route could follow above the rising Northern Line to Morden station.’
      • ‘Another well used route followed the coast, serving communities too small to warrant LNA service.’
      • ‘The walk - a nine-and-a-half-mile circular - was along the Senior Way, which closely follows the Cullingworth parish boundaries.’
      • ‘Raced over a six kilometre distance for women and 12 km for men the course follows the Grande Motte coastline of the Mediterranean.’
      • ‘Much of the route follows the towpath of the Caledonian Canal.’
      • ‘The path follows the coast along the side of the fairways and greens until you reach Belhaven Bay and a bridge linking two beaches on either side of Biel Water.’
      • ‘The flight path follows the narrow winding passage of the deep Karnali River Gorge as it cuts between the major mountain chains.’
      • ‘The path follows the burn down to Aultlarie Bridge and the main road, but a new stretch of footpath runs back towards Newtonmore parallel to the road.’
      • ‘Most of the way the route follows the Buller River and in some places the road is narrow and winding.’
      • ‘Consequently if Antonie is coaching he will do it while rowing a single or by running along the path that follows Melbourne's Yarra River.’
    5. 1.5Trace the movement or direction of.
      ‘she followed his gaze, peering into the gloom’
      • ‘Her eyes followed his every movement as he crossed over her legs, crawling over to his side of the bed.’
      • ‘The bird had a long beak that was composed of many colors, and its glossy black eyes seemed to follow my every movement.’
      • ‘They are like the eyes you find in older paintings that seemed to follow you around everywhere you go’
      • ‘Her gaze had followed his to the unknown beauty, and her eyes narrowed dangerously.’
      • ‘They stepped from his path without a word and their eyes followed his every movement.’
      • ‘Takmet's gaze followed her only a few feet and he closed his eyes again and faced the floor.’
      • ‘Sonia nods, and Walt's gaze follows hers to the labyrinth in the floor.’
      • ‘Kratos' gaze followed the two clubbers as they left the street, his mind sent awhirl by what Fezz had said.’
      • ‘Khushi's eyes followed the boy and watched him approach an elderly couple.’
      • ‘He didn't even seem to try, but everywhere he went girls followed him with their eyes.’
      • ‘Stefan Klos was attentive in following the ball's late diversion, before palming it round the post.’
      • ‘Smooth pursuit eye movements are used to follow a moving target that one is looking at directly.’
      • ‘She heard his intake of breath as his gaze followed hers to the forest edge.’
      • ‘Aimée smiled sadly as she watched him follow the sweet girl with his eyes.’
      • ‘Her gaze followed everyone in the same way, but Olumer didn't think he should have let it get to him so much.’
      • ‘Raylaa's gaze followed his and she gasped, pushing herself off the bed towards it.’
      • ‘His eyes followed her from behind his drink as she moved surely about the room.’
      • ‘You almost expect the eye of a painting to follow your every movement.’
      • ‘Her eyes followed Bizzy as he closed Gaz's front door and walked across the gravel drive to the car.’
  • 2Come after in time or order.

    ‘the six years that followed his restoration’
    [no object] ‘the rates are as follows’
    • ‘The acts followed in quick succession, mostly performing two or three songs each.’
    • ‘When all the cards have been played, points are scored in order as follows.’
    • ‘The British Bankers' Association is now in discussions with the watchdog to see whether cuts to current accounts must follow.’
    • ‘The Sunday meeting follows hot on the heels of the recent Ulster Grand National meeting.’
    • ‘This occasion was followed by fun tug-of-war events for children and adults.’
    • ‘The full top ten, in no particular order, is as follows.’
    • ‘The main gripes of the anti-Howard/anti-Hanson forces are as follows, not in order of preference.’
    • ‘What follows is an account of my sincere attempt to follow various directives from Life's Little Treasure Book On Joy.’
    • ‘On Tuesday Requiem Mass was celebrated and followed by burial in the adjoining Cemetery.’
    • ‘What follows is her firsthand account of daily life in Iraq.’
    • ‘What follows is a fictional account of the ideal way I would like to die.’
    • ‘Although this is an ongoing project, what follows are reports of progress in the main areas of activity.’
    • ‘Other more radical comments have followed in the wake of Singer.’
    • ‘So what follows is a mostly-true account of that week in France.’
    • ‘The stories that follow are all fictionalized accounts of my life in the suburbs.’
    • ‘Much of Saturday will be taken up with a visit to the Mersey River Festival followed by a dinner dance at the Daten Club, Culcheth.’
    • ‘However, in the days that followed, this ooda current became stronger and brighter.’
    • ‘However, I still cannot understand or rationalise the distressing sequence of events that followed his death.’
    • ‘The eight finalists in alphabetical order are as follows.’
    • ‘The event will be followed by an in-depth interview and a Q&A session.’
    1. 2.1Happen after (something else) as a consequence.
      ‘raucous laughter followed the ribald remark’
      ‘the announcement followed on from the collapse of the merchant bank’
      [no object] ‘retribution soon followed’
      • ‘Events which followed confirmed the efficacy of the declaration and its timing.’
      • ‘This schism had a profound effect on the events that followed in the denomination.’
      • ‘A few minutes of stunned silence followed in the wake of that statement.’
      • ‘This makes the events that follow all the more poignant, and later heart-rending.’
      • ‘There was first the bipolar world order, followed by its negation and the emergence of a unipolar world order.’
      • ‘Three successful transplant operations followed which offered some small consolation to all who loved Nikita.’
      • ‘Zitelli has great memories of the Rangers match, and events that followed at Glasgow Airport.’
      • ‘The move to close the companies follows a DTI investigation, results of which have not been disclosed.’
      • ‘A long silence followed which was finally broken by Scully.’
      • ‘The period of high extinction risk was followed immediately by a short period of very high origination probability.’
      • ‘The new legislation follows on the heels of recent Senate hearings on the issue.’
      • ‘The temporary set-back followed hot on the heels of a mixed week for RealNetworks.’
      • ‘From Mexico, the spread of viticulture followed swiftly on the heels of Spanish conquests.’
      • ‘On the contrary, progress follows upon repeated trials and the elimination of errors.’
      • ‘People were asked for their opinions about this and very fruitful discussion followed which put forward many suggestions.’
      • ‘The turn of events follows staff performance assessments authorised by both the administration and political management here.’
      • ‘The penalty that followed did not account for the impact of the foul play.’
      • ‘Is the train of tragic events that follows a manifestation of its destructive nature?’
      • ‘These percentages appear to have increased somewhat following the Revolution.’
      • ‘The crash, and the events which followed, have lived on in infamy.’
      result, arise, develop, ensue, emanate, issue, proceed, spring, flow, originate, stem
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2[no object]Be a logical consequence of something.
      ‘it thus follows from this equation that the value must be negative’
      • ‘It follows from this that two functions with identical derivatives differ by at most a constant.’
      • ‘It follows that the account in terms of status functions is not a rival of the account in terms of deontic power.’
      • ‘I don't think it follows from this that we ought to police thought in the strict sense of using the legitimate violence of the state.’
      • ‘It follows from this that one's self, atman, is also Brahman: hence the famous expression atman is Brahman.’
      • ‘What with all the government awareness campaigns, it follows that they do so knowingly and willingly.’
      • ‘It follows from Spinoza's theory that God is not distinct from the world but identical with it.’
      • ‘It follows that every event may be described on two levels and according to two causes.’
      • ‘Now, what is the legal consequence that follows from that set of circumstances?’
      • ‘They tell us what follows from what, not what to believe on the basis of what.’
      • ‘This follows from the fact that logically equivalent statements always are assigned the same probability.’
      • ‘How, exactly, does the terminology usually regarded by logicians as logical work in making it the case that one sentence follows from others?’
      • ‘What, if any, consequence follows from this failure to work it out, as you put it?’
      • ‘It follows from this conception of pleasure that every instance of pleasure must be good to some extent.’
      • ‘Hence it follows from the idea of God, as an all-perfect being, that God exists.’
      • ‘Note that each line in a proof is either an axiom, or follows from previous lines by one of the simple rules.’
      • ‘It follows from Galileo's theory that there should be just one high tide each day at a given location, and that it should occur around noon.’
      • ‘What consequence do you say follows from that fact for this litigation?’
      • ‘It follows from Kant's view that we know a priori that non-Euclidean geometry cannot be applied in physics.’
      • ‘It follows that foreign trade would be cut back to a fraction of what it is at present.’
      • ‘What is the consequence you say follows from that for fairness of trial of the principal issues joined in the action?’
      • ‘The conspiracy theory that logically follows from Darren's findings is so delicious that I find myself longing for it to be true.’
    3. 2.3[with object and adverbial](of a person) do something after (something else)
      ‘they follow their March show with four UK dates next month’
      • ‘He follows with an account of the place of corn in the Atlantic slave trade.’
      • ‘Stojakovic followed with his trade demand after the Kings let go of his good friend Vlade Divac.’
    4. 2.4Have (a dish or course) after another or others during a meal.
      ‘turkey was followed by dessert’
      • ‘Tobacco panna cotta will be followed by a course of fillet of char with a honey-smoked pistachio crust.’
      • ‘In the afternoon everyone took a seat under the trees in the garden and enjoyed lunch, followed by desserts.’
      • ‘Home made shepherds pie would go down a treat, followed by a cherry pie and custard.’
      • ‘We had worked our way through a lazy, two-hour lunch in which one good dish followed another.’
      • ‘Christmas features the presentation of the turkey or ham, followed by the Christmas pudding.’
      • ‘Cups of cappuccino concluded the meal, followed by a plate of anise and bacon brittle.’
      • ‘A glass of sherry was served on our arrival, followed by a delicious three course meal.’
      • ‘There is also a Thai menu for those not into the American cuisine, followed by desserts and alcoholic coffees.’
      • ‘On arrival, they had a wine reception, followed by a scrumptious meal of Christmas fare.’
      • ‘So I finally threw in the towel and conceded over a very nice steak, followed by a cheese course.’
      • ‘What if I want to go out for a drink, followed by a nice meal and be in a comfortable, smoke-free environment?’
  • 3Act according to (an instruction or precept)

    ‘he has difficulty in following written instructions’
    • ‘Edgar immediately followed instruction and we walked passed him.’
    • ‘If something is done literally, a person follows instructions ‘to the letter’, without flexibility or imagination.’
    • ‘I was in a hurry to do this and just blindly followed the instructions.’
    • ‘Smith said teachers follow standard rules, such as avoiding being left alone with pupils without witnesses.’
    • ‘How rigidly people follow the rules may depend upon how strictly the rules are enforced.’
    • ‘It's absolutely essential that you understand and follow everything that I tell you to do.’
    • ‘In fact it's not even that important to me that people follow the instructions.’
    • ‘The instruction was followed immediately as they stepped out in unison before moving one step to the right.’
    • ‘But dietary advice is often neglected by doctors because so many people do not follow it.’
    • ‘Ancient people followed the words of such sages and seldom cut their hair throughout their whole lives.’
    • ‘The same procedure was strictly followed at the end of the pulmonary rehabilitation program for patients with COPD.’
    • ‘Speaking exclusively to the Yorkshire Post, he said the electorate should look at whether politicians follow their own rules.’
    • ‘Why didn't people follow orders like they were supposed to?’
    • ‘If people do not follow the rules of this court the only way actually to make them remember them for the future is to apply them.’
    • ‘He also advised that people follow the traditional rules set in place.’
    • ‘We like to think of people exercising their personal judgment, and not just blindly following the rules.’
    • ‘However, he regretted that people had not followed the words of Bharathi.’
    • ‘What good are the things that I profess, the exercise and nutrition, if people don't follow it.’
    • ‘As employees and as consumers, most people follow orders with little voice or influence.’
    • ‘People might not follow your recommendations the first time, but they will listen the second time.’
    act in accordance with, abide by, adhere to, stick to, keep to, comply with, conform to, obey, observe, heed, pay attention to, note, have regard to, mind, bear in mind, take to heart, be guided by, accept, yield to, defer to, respect
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Conform to.
      ‘the film faithfully follows Shakespeare's plot’
      • ‘Moreover, the starting and ending points of these cycles follow a pattern related to seasons on Earth.’
      • ‘Teachers follow a traditional way of teaching and work with a rigid framework.’
      • ‘All twenty five of the books will follow a fairly rigid design sense, so most of the work was done in the initial stages.’
      • ‘In India, many people follow a tradition; if their family tradition is that they are going to talk about death, they do so.’
      • ‘As far as the modern names are concerned, the book follows the IMA guidelines, although the author does prefer to capitalize mineral names.’
      • ‘Shadow Skill slavishly follows the rules of the fighting anime genre as if it expects a test later.’
      • ‘The results are a stunning mix of surprisingly wearable garments that develop, rather than slavishly follow, current trends.’
      • ‘Agency, state, and university human subject protocols were followed to ensure subject confidentiality.’
      • ‘Most people follow a subsistence way of life, growing food mainly for their own needs with little left over.’
      • ‘The closer a particular product follows the ANSI standard protocols, the easier it will be to use that product in a particular application.’
      • ‘They worked to make the films follow the books closely and did a fantastic job of this.’
      • ‘When making decisions, state officials refuse to take reality into account and follow the same old models.’
      • ‘Whitt's book follows a predictably chronological organization, mirroring the author's evolution as a creative artist.’
      • ‘Robert Harvey follows in this tradition by emphasising the English dimension in the contest.’
      • ‘In that respect, the film follows Wells' book faithfully.’
      • ‘No other religious book on the earth follows this Divine Pattern and style that is so distinct.’
      • ‘He said the pilot's decision on silence followed standard procedure and that the government supported it.’
      • ‘This book follows the conventional Thames & Hudson formula of introductory text plus detailed case studies.’
      • ‘They are little social commentaries and that is following in the great Scottish tradition.’
      • ‘In terms of chronology, the film follows the conventional rise-and-fall structure of the traditional biopic.’
      act in accordance with, abide by, adhere to, stick to, keep to, comply with, conform to, obey, observe, heed, pay attention to, note, have regard to, mind, bear in mind, take to heart, be guided by, accept, yield to, defer to, respect
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2Act according to the lead or example of (someone)
      ‘he follows Aristotle in believing this’
      • ‘They immediately mounted their horses, then followed his lead deeper into the woods.’
      • ‘I wish other people would follow my example especially in the area I live in as it is quite a disgrace.’
      • ‘What happens when a veteran mountain guide has to follow someone else's lead for a day of heli-skiing?’
      • ‘Ainslie followed Shirley Robertson's lead in claiming Britain's second sailing gold of the Games.’
      • ‘She hoped other businesses would follow the Eric Wright Group's lead, stressing it was vital the momentum did not slow down.’
      • ‘I think we shall see more people follow my lead and learn how to successfully use black on its own to create stunning dark borders.’
      • ‘I spent my childhood blindly following his lead, striving to become the man he was.’
      • ‘One name to watch out for is Nigel Clough who could yet follow his dad to glory.’
      • ‘It is much easier to follow someone else's lead than to come up with the route yourself and lead the group.’
      • ‘The people have followed the doings of some of their principal servants in front of the Hutton inquiry.’
      • ‘Segregation by sex is common, and children tend to follow their parents example and occupations.’
      • ‘The Haftorah teaches that Torah will enlighten those who follow King Chiram's example.’
      • ‘Tiger Woods follows Phil Mickelson's example by making a birdie at the 13th, to restore a three-shot lead.’
      • ‘Giving money to charities and building bridges does not mean that people should follow your lead.’
      • ‘We know from grim experience that footballers slavishly follow the lead of their manager.’
      • ‘I hope other people will follow our lead and contact Get Connected!’
      • ‘Now she hopes other business people will follow her lead and contribute.’
      imitate, copy, mimic, ape, reproduce, mirror, echo
      View synonyms
    3. 3.3Treat as a teacher or guide.
      ‘those who seek to follow Jesus Christ’
      • ‘We seek to follow Jesus, acknowledging that we are all learners and flawed.’
      • ‘Now the party of the circumcision would refer to Christians or people who follow Jesus who practice circumcision.’
      • ‘I reasoned with myself that we had tried to follow God, we had observed the Talmud.’
  • 4Pay close attention to.

    ‘I've been following this discussion closely’
    • ‘If I had been in Bradford I would have followed this closely through your columns.’
    • ‘I think the Vatican is going to be following closely what this document says.’
    1. 4.1Take an active interest in or be a supporter of.
      ‘supporters who have followed the club through thick and thin’
      • ‘In his leisure time he follows West Ham United and plays golf off a handicap of 12’
      • ‘Most sports that people follow pit either individuals or teams against each other, all season long.’
      • ‘Some people follow the cyberpunk genre quite closely, and for them this novel is a must-read.’
      • ‘They followed trends like some people follow sports teams - with this undying devotion.’
      • ‘The players are aware that people have followed them all season and they wanted to do it for them as well.’
      be a fan of, be a supporter of, support, be a follower of, be an admirer of, be a devotee of, be devoted to
      View synonyms
    2. 4.2(of a book, film, programme, etc.) be concerned with or trace the development of.
      ‘the book follows the life and career of Henry Clay’
      • ‘In contrast, the programme follows Colin, the groundsman, in his quest to keep the Meadow End from sinking.’
      • ‘The programme follows American-born Des as he visits some of the worst trouble-spots in Ireland.’
      • ‘The programme follows Bernard O'Malley's journey as he attempts to uncover any clues the police may have missed.’
      • ‘The film follows Ramu, who enjoys teaching Indian dance in New Delhi but has far greater ambitions to become a superstar.’
      • ‘Set in 1953 at Wellesley College, the film follows Stiles and her classmates on the brink of the feminist revolution.’
      • ‘This book basically follows a Chicken as he wanders through the farm.’
      • ‘The programme follows Gordon as he tries to help bereaved parents Greta and Andrew Rhodes seek solace following the death of their son.’
      • ‘The film follows an ubergeek in his ungodly pursuit of Alison, the girl of his dreams.’
      • ‘And the second book follows Bourdain as he criss-crosses the world sampling local delicacies from the sublime to the bizarre.’
      • ‘Fly Me To The Moon follows the flight path of a group of terrified travellers striving to conquer their fear of flying.’
      • ‘This book follows the whole ‘Modern Pagan working magik in the big city’ deal.’
      • ‘The film follows the Jalsindhi villagers through hunger strikes, rallies, police brutality and a six year Supreme Court battle.’
      • ‘As may be expected, the book follows the church's historical development.’
      • ‘Found only in Luke, the story follows two critical events.’
      • ‘Set in the late 18th century, the film follows our very fictionalized brothers, played by Matt Damon and Heath Ledger.’
      • ‘The story follows closely the real events which happened in the '70s while changing only a few details.’
    3. 4.3Track (a person, group, or organization) by subscribing to their account on a social media website or application.
      ‘if you've been following me on Facebook recently you may have seen a bunch of different posts about surgery and back trouble’
      ‘I don't follow many celebrities on Twitter any more’
      • ‘Twitter burps out your thoughts in 140-character or less messages to people who follow you.’
      • ‘We do note however that a whole bunch of Labour MP's are following us on Twitter!’
      • ‘We've got about 20,000 people who follow us on Facebook and MySpace.’
      • ‘This may not make much sense to people who have only recently started following this site, FYI.’
      • ‘Please also join me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.’
      • ‘He was giving updates by the second, by the minute, to people who were following him on Twitter.’
      • ‘There's no option to become friends with the Queen on Facebook, nor follow her updates on Twitter.’
      • ‘And Senator, I put that out to some of my viewers who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and I got a bit of a mixed bag.’
      • ‘I'm a luddite in comparison with some of the people I follow on Twitter, but a nerd in comparison with many people.’
      • ‘For those of you who aren't following me on Facebook, here is a picture of the growing little tyke.’
      • ‘Thus, even though users declare that they follow many people using Twitter, they only keep in touch with a small number of them.’
      • ‘Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.’
      • ‘The easiest way to see all the updates at once as they come in is to open a Twitter account yourself and "Follow" these Twitterers.’
      • ‘I follow him on Facebook, but it's all alarmist activist type stuff that just doesn't appeal to me.’
      • ‘Send me a message on Twitter or on Facebook, or you can follow me on Foursquare as well, and check out my blog.’
      • ‘There are only a couple hundred people currently following us on Twitter.’
      • ‘I'd just gotten on Facebook to follow my daughter.’
      • ‘Following people on Twitter only reminds you what you could be watching at the Glastonbury festival.’
      • ‘And while you're on the Web page, check out how you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.’
      • ‘If any of you follow me on Facebook and saw my status update late lastnight, I would like to vent my reason for it.’
    4. 4.4Understand the meaning or tendency of (a speaker or argument)
      ‘I still don't follow you’
      • ‘It is necessary to set out parts of this schedule if the argument is to be followed.’
      • ‘I said I'd prefer to go home and then there was some discussion I couldn't follow much of through my fog but nodded away.’
      • ‘Dialect is explained so people can follow the speaker's meaning.’
      understand, comprehend, apprehend, take in, grasp, fathom, appreciate, keep up with, see
      View synonyms
  • 5Practise (a trade or profession).

    carry out, perform, do, observe, put into practice, execute, exercise
    work at, pursue a career in, have a career in, go in for, engage in, specialize in, ply
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1Undertake or carry out (a course of action or study)
      ‘she followed a strict diet’
      • ‘The United States, incidentally, was hardly the only occupying power to follow such a course.’
      • ‘Paul spends hours every week working on arm wrestling techniques, follows a strict training regime and carefully studies videos of opponents.’
      • ‘If a person follows true anarchy, there is no contradiction involved.’
      • ‘I think the sea would be a far better place for all creatures if more people followed this approach.’
      • ‘Do your best to follow the most effective practices and be the best leader you can be.’
      • ‘It's fair to assume he had simply forgotten what to do, being four-and-a-half years since he had needed to follow such a course of action.’
      • ‘You might be worried that if humans followed such a course, it would expose animals to danger.’
      • ‘Like good Hindus, langurs follow a strict vegetarian diet - give or take the occasional munch of a locust or larva.’
      • ‘The timing of this may well also depend on what course is to be followed and when the matter could be brought on.’
      • ‘All seven will follow a strict training regime between now and the games and all in the Delta Centre will be very supportive of their work.’
      • ‘These academic subjects formed the basis of the studia humanitatis, the course of study followed by most young men of the period.’
      • ‘Women who strictly follow the Atkins diet could be damaging their chances of getting pregnant, new research has shown.’
      • ‘Now, did the primary judge at any point indicate which of those courses would have been followed?’
      • ‘The trouble is that many people do not follow a good diet.’
      • ‘Class stratification is also at work as those in the highest castes follow the strictest vegetarian diet.’
      • ‘It's going to take me a long time to calm her down, so I decide to follow the easiest course.’
      • ‘If either of these courses had been followed, there would be no problem with the presumption of innocence.’
      • ‘Despite this, Hon Shun followed a strict moral code, particularly with regard to telepathy.’
      • ‘Lighting a lamp near a Tulsi plant is a ritual followed by people almost all over the country.’
      • ‘But Maute says he follows a strict training regime to keep in top form.’
      conduct, undertake, carry on, devote oneself to, go on with, proceed with, go ahead with, carry on with, keep on with, continue with, continue, take further, prosecute, persist in, stick at, stick with
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  • follow in someone's footsteps

  • follow one's nose

    • 1Trust to one's instincts.

      • ‘Sure enough, he could smell the magic in the air, and he followed his nose across the great hall and down a long series of hallways.’
      • ‘An artist seeking a way to protest against graduating from university with student-loan debts of £15,000 has decided to follow his nose.’
      • ‘Too lazy to actually hunt, I followed my nose back to Mom's house.’
      • ‘It was thrilling to find something the old-fashioned way, to track it down, to follow my nose and ears and eyes.’
      • ‘He followed his nose and it led him to a large black building with graffiti on it.’
      • ‘Turn right at the Romanc sign and then follow your nose.’
      • ‘Then it's a question of following your nose along the winding ridge ahead, savouring the views.’
      • ‘Mark likes to follow his nose on these things, and I never argue with his results.’
      • ‘So most of the time you're simply following your nose as to what's going on.’
    • 2Move along guided by one's sense of smell.

      • ‘Before my nostrils could become desensitised to the aroma, I decided to follow my nose to its source.’
      • ‘As she descended the stairs, she could smell the aroma of roast beef and she followed her nose into the dining room.’
      • ‘It wasn't like a gas leak smell, but it was a strong pungent odor, so he followed his nose to where it smelled like it was coming from.’
      • ‘Going through one door, she caught the smell of food preparation, and followed her nose to the remote kitchen, where she lingered just outside the doorway.’
      • ‘Instead, all they have to do is follow their nose - the sweet, strong smell pervades the entire gallery.’
      • ‘Visit the souk of the goldsmiths, for example, or the hat makers, or follow your nose to the spice market.’
      • ‘She rolled on her side, following her nose to breakfast, that Will must have prepared before she woke.’
      • ‘She felt something warm and some kind of smell intrigued her so she followed her nose, until she disappears from the desert all together.’
      • ‘Enter the club's driveway between the Duron Paints store and the entrance to Kelly Drive or follow your nose to the smoky down-home barbecue.’
      • ‘Just wait for the unmistakable smell of heavy oil mingled with a teeth-clenching sweetness and follow your nose.’
    • 3Go straight ahead.

      • ‘Once in Seahouses, just follow your nose to the harbour.’
      • ‘Cross a stile on to the moorland and follow your nose due east on well - trodden paths, basically sticking to the higher ground.’
      • ‘Turn right through a gate to enter a housing estate, and follow your nose to the main street and back to Doune Ponds.’
      • ‘When the Storm Troopers were out of sight, I followed my nose in the direction the council had started going.’
      • ‘Opening them once more, she followed her nose to the far end of the opposite hall.’
      • ‘The man took a deep breath and followed his nose to the young boy.’
  • follow suit

    • 1(in bridge, whist, and other card games) play a card of the suit led.

      • ‘Players must follow suit if possible - a player who cannot follow suit may discard any card.’
      • ‘If a card which is not a trump is led, players who have cards of this suit must either follow suit or trump.’
      • ‘In these places you are only allowed to play a trump if a trump is led, or if you are unable to follow suit to a non-trump lead.’
      • ‘You must follow suit if you can; if you cannot follow suit, any card may be played.’
      • ‘When a double is led everyone must follow suit with a double if possible.’
      • ‘When a non-trump is led, players who have a card of the suit led must either follow suit or play a trump.’
      • ‘However, when a non-trump is led and you are following suit, there is no obligation to beat the cards previously played to the trick.’
      • ‘When there are no trumps, a player who is unable to follow suit may play any card.’
      • ‘If there is a trump suit, a player who can follow suit must either follow suit or play a trump if possible.’
      • ‘If a non-trump is led and you can follow suit, you cannot play a Joker declaring it to be a trump.’
      1. 1.1Conform to another's actions.
        ‘Spain cut its rates by half a per cent but no other country has followed suit’
        • ‘The darker, more downhome Black Letter Days follows suit with a similar, constantly undulating quality level.’
        • ‘And algae follows suit, converting sunlight to growth.’
        • ‘Thankfully, the McGuinty government in Ontario kept its promise to raise cigarette taxes; let's hope the federal government follows suit.’
        • ‘And if the hotel in Robertstown follows suit it could be another desperate blow to the entire Northwest Kildare area.’
        • ‘The Downtown Arts District follows suit, with an open house.’
        • ‘If the boss pulls back then his company follows suit, no question.’
        • ‘And the rest follows suit, if you've got the aptitude and talent for it.’
        • ‘The rest of the young cast follows suit, miming up a storm, sipping imaginary sacramental wine from invisible chalices.’
        • ‘Janu follows suit and they share the spoils of quitting.’
        • ‘A map with table numbers covering all seven divisions, trains and destinations and separate indices for Express and Passenger trains follows suit.’
        emulate, copy, take as a model, model oneself on, take as a pattern, pattern oneself after, pattern oneself on, follow the example of, take as an example, take as a role model, take after, follow, follow in someone's footsteps, follow in someone's steps
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Phrasal Verbs

  • follow on

    • (of a cricket team) be required to bat again immediately after failing in their first innings to reach a score within a set number of runs of the score made by their opponents.

      • ‘Sodumo followed on 214, having scored a valuable 55, as he played the anchor for a swinging Tyron Henderson.’
      • ‘England, following on, needed 92 runs to avoid an innings defeat with only three wickets in hand.’
      • ‘By the close, they had edged to 12 for 0 in their second innings after being asked to follow on.’
      • ‘They totalled 657 for 8 declared after being bowled out for 106 and asked to follow on.’
      • ‘He was out hooking for a dogged 64 and guiltily apologised to his team-mates as England followed on.’
      • ‘This match entered history because a team won after following on.’
      • ‘After being bowled out for 191, England followed on, making 532, and batting for nearly three days.’
      • ‘Tim Wall, last man in, with six runs needed to make England bat again, was then out for a duck, and Australia, to our relief, had to follow on.’
      • ‘Ponting was one of four wickets lost by Australia after they were made to follow on for the first time in 17 years and 191 Tests.’
      • ‘In that second Test at Kolkata, we had Sachin [Tendulkar] out in the second innings as India followed on.’
  • follow through

    • (in golf, cricket, and other sports) continue the movement of a stroke after the ball has been struck.

      • ‘Watch the fingers as the player follows through.’
      • ‘I did as he told me, keeping my eyes focused on the back of the target ball as I smoothly followed through with the cue.’
      • ‘The goal came about after Doran had collected a sideline ball from Walsh and followed through to the back of the net.’
      • ‘Jessica slid her hands down as she continued to follow through on the choreography.’
      • ‘Wilson followed through to force the ball past his former team mate, receiving a knock in the process.’
      • ‘When batting lefthanded, Castillo will try to release his top hand as he follows through after contact.’
      • ‘His right knee followed through and struck Frankie's groin with such force that he was thrown several feet into the air.’
      • ‘Berard was struck in the eye by the stick of the Senators' Marian Hossa, who was following through on a shot.’
      • ‘All you need is a Belichick-like game plan and the courage to follow through with it.’
      • ‘As his knees unbend, his right hand follows through toward the target.’
  • follow something through

    • Continue an action or task to its conclusion.

      • ‘Once we report the complaint, we are committed to following a civil case through to its conclusion, again out of fairness.’
      • ‘The arrestingly capricious mood of his concerto's second movement is not followed through.’
      • ‘Finally, we do individual sessions to follow people through a full task, to make certain it's working the way they want it to.’
      • ‘I know that I have not fully followed some of the arguments through.’
      • ‘Indeed, we should embrace these stirrings so enthusiastically that we demand they are followed through to their proper conclusion.’
      • ‘I feel you ease into deals by continually following through on what you say you will do, and you eventually earn the client's trust.’
      • ‘I had to follow it through to its conclusion or semi-conclusion.’
      • ‘Lewis has found an incredible story here, and he follows it through to its logical conclusion.’
      • ‘Lamont follows this argument through to its logical conclusion.’
      • ‘They were there at the onset of this specific struggle, and they want to follow it through to its conclusion.’
      complete, bring to completion, bring to a finish, continue to the end, see something through
      continue with, carry on with, keep on with, keep going with, stay with
      stick something out
      View synonyms
  • follow something up

    • Pursue or investigate something further.

      ‘I decided to follow up the letters with phone calls’
      • ‘Sabina excelled in her GCSE exams and now hopes to follow up her current course with a beautician course before going to university.’
      • ‘An eminent medical investigator followed it up a year later.’
      • ‘We carry out annual inspections and there are also spot checks and any complaints are followed up.’
      • ‘My contention is they didn't follow it up or investigate any of it further.’
      • ‘Any site brought to our attention is followed up immediately and legal proceedings initiated where appropriate.’
      • ‘Your task is to follow up with the progress of each task and keep everyone on the same page.’
      • ‘Hope Hospital is investigating why the first smear was not followed up and Claire was told she could not have cancer.’
      • ‘Every decade they will be followed up so that scientists can study which groups of patients go on to develop conditions such as cancer or heart disease.’
      • ‘Five were found to be playing truant and their cases will be followed up by education welfare officers.’
      • ‘Our patients are part of an ongoing investigation, and they were followed up prospectively as part of their clinical evaluation process.’
      investigate, research, find out about, look into, dig into, delve into, make enquiries into, enquire about, ask questions about, pursue, chase up
      check out
      scope out
      View synonyms


Old English folgian, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch volgen and German folgen.