Definition of follow in English:

follow

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 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’
    • ‘And as he had surmised, twenty more soldiers soon followed in their wake.’
    • ‘Dima was moving hastily up the street as he followed at a slower pace.’
    • ‘Gunfire from the other group of guarda, now behind him, followed him as he ran.’
    • ‘Now I let it off the chain and it follows me everywhere, obediently heeling.’
    • ‘Given a moment to collect my self, I quickly followed his path out of the bar.’
    • ‘He chuckled behind me and followed me to the dinning room without saying a word.’
    • ‘One of the other young men who were following called out to his leader, the one holding Kitty.’
    • ‘Carly follows shortly behind and Adam follows her, making sure she doesn't run into anything.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I groaned, but followed him and looked behind me to find everyone else coming too.’
    • ‘She grabbed the dress and stuck it in her bag before following him outside.’
    • ‘Daniel enters, followed in quick succession by Simon, Karen, and Hector.’
    • ‘If I get up, the dog will wake up and follow me outside.’
    • ‘"I can tell, " Rose replied as she followed close behind him.’
    • ‘Tavisome and Reneeth follow quickly on our heels.’
    • ‘After that she would follow him from behind whenever she saw him, and one day she hoped that he would love her back.’
    • ‘I got up and walked up to the wall, Osake followed close behind.’
    • ‘She followed at the previous pace, and I was forced to slow my steps.’
    • ‘Cathal followed close behind so as not to be left behind on another adventure.’
    • ‘Darius and Kara just smiled and shook their heads and followed at slower pace.’
    • ‘The noise I do not leave behind; the clanging follows me.’
    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. 1.1 Go after (someone) in order to observe or monitor them.
      ‘the KGB man followed her everywhere’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She notices a car behind her and it follows her for quite some time.’
      • ‘Chad had gone to the library in hopes of escaping the gaggle of girls who seemed to follow him around everywhere.’
      • ‘Glancing at the rear mirror, she noticed that the car behind her was still following her.’
      • ‘He moved out from beside the locker he had stood behind and followed her.’
      • ‘When Vigrass climbed into the driving seat he followed her and watched her mount a kerb.’
      • ‘She secretly follows Walter, watching him gather his hockey equipment from his car.’
      • ‘He was followed some distance and observed by one officer to weave between the lines of the payment.’
      • ‘And I expect you to take appropriate precautions that we are not followed or observed.’
      • ‘Back then, in 1984, it was about the secret policeman who followed him everywhere.’
      • ‘When you see this poor guy being followed everywhere he goes by hordes of people, it's actually terribly sad.’
      • ‘We waited until he rounded a corner before we climbed out from behind the can and followed him.’
      • ‘We follow at a respectful distance so as not to tire the bear unduly.’
      • ‘Inside the palace a squad of four heavily armed troopers followed me everywhere.’
      • ‘He followed us everywhere with the camera and we reached a point where we really didn't care that he was there.’
      • ‘This guy not only follows us everywhere, he had to invade my thoughts too!’
      • ‘All of the children were followed for two years, with their symptoms monitored by the researchers.’
      • ‘Suspicious, he waited until they had passed and then followed at a distance.’
      shadow, trail, pursue, chase, stalk, hunt, track, dog, hound, course
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2archaic Strive after; aim at.
      ‘I follow fame’
    3. 1.3 Go along (a route or path).
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It will follow the Pennine Cycleway along the canal from Nelson to Greenberfield locks, Barnoldswick, and back.’
      • ‘With the plot laid out in the first twenty minutes, the rest of the film follows two distinct paths.’
      • ‘I followed the path as if by instinct and along the trail to my former summer residence.’
      • ‘Their route plan is to follow the Yukon River to Circle and along the Yukon Flats to Tanana and back to Ruby.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At present, the only way people can follow the trail routes is by printing the maps from the Swindon Heritage Town Trails website.’
      • ‘Cross the stile in the wall and follow the path running along the north side of Upper Ogden reservoir.’
      • ‘Motorists entering from the south have been advised to follow a route along Devizes Road and down Victoria Road.’
      • ‘But I play along, as we follow a bike path past a tank farm, then along the marshy shore of the bay.’
      • ‘It's good to follow winding paths along the way to the mountain.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Turn left at the top of the hill and follow the path along the ridge to Darwen Tower.’
      • ‘Students who took part in the fun run followed a circular route along Frome Road, Silver Street Lane and Bradley Road.’
      • ‘Turn left along the riverbank and follow the path to reach the road bridge.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He walked four blocks to the big park, then followed a winding path into the bush.’
      • ‘My correction on the map follows approximately the current usage route.’
      • ‘The Toe to Tow Marathon is a fall classic that follows the path where mules once pulled barges along the Erie Canal.’
    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’
      • ‘Their route followed the earlier tracks worn by the explorer Major Mitchell.’
      • ‘Another well used route followed the coast, serving communities too small to warrant LNA service.’
      • ‘Raced over a six kilometre distance for women and 12 km for men the course follows the Grande Motte coastline of the Mediterranean.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most of the way the route follows the Buller River and in some places the road is narrow and winding.’
      • ‘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 walk - a nine-and-a-half-mile circular - was along the Senior Way, which closely follows the Cullingworth parish boundaries.’
      • ‘The study identified a 34-mile double track route largely following the old line.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The original route follows the stream along a narrow winding rift, to where the stream plunges into the final, and longest shaft.’
      • ‘The path follows the course of the Vézère River.’
      • ‘Much of the route follows the towpath of the Caledonian Canal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Alternatively, a tram route could follow above the rising Northern Line to Morden station.’
      • ‘This is undulating country and for part of the way the road follows the Grey River.’
      • ‘The route follows well waymarked paths from Hawkshead across low pastures to the charming settlement of Colthouse.’
      • ‘The route follows lightly traveled roads through rolling countryside and scenic farmland.’
      • ‘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.’
    5. 1.5 Trace the movement or direction of.
      ‘she followed his gaze, peering into the gloom’
      • ‘Khushi's eyes followed the boy and watched him approach an elderly couple.’
      • ‘She heard his intake of breath as his gaze followed hers to the forest edge.’
      • ‘His eyes followed her from behind his drink as she moved surely about the room.’
      • ‘Her eyes followed his every movement as he crossed over her legs, crawling over to his side of the bed.’
      • ‘Raylaa's gaze followed his and she gasped, pushing herself off the bed towards it.’
      • ‘Aimée smiled sadly as she watched him follow the sweet girl with his eyes.’
      • ‘They are like the eyes you find in older paintings that seemed to follow you around everywhere you go’
      • ‘Sonia nods, and Walt's gaze follows hers to the labyrinth in the floor.’
      • ‘Takmet's gaze followed her only a few feet and he closed his eyes again and faced the floor.’
      • ‘You almost expect the eye of a painting to follow your every movement.’
      • ‘Smooth pursuit eye movements are used to follow a moving target that one is looking at directly.’
      • ‘He didn't even seem to try, but everywhere he went girls followed him with their eyes.’
      • ‘Kratos' gaze followed the two clubbers as they left the street, his mind sent awhirl by what Fezz had said.’
      • ‘The bird had a long beak that was composed of many colors, and its glossy black eyes seemed to follow my every movement.’
      • ‘Her eyes followed Bizzy as he closed Gaz's front door and walked across the gravel drive to the car.’
      • ‘They stepped from his path without a word and their eyes followed his every movement.’
      • ‘Her gaze followed everyone in the same way, but Olumer didn't think he should have let it get to him so much.’
      • ‘Stefan Klos was attentive in following the ball's late diversion, before palming it round the post.’
      • ‘Her gaze had followed his to the unknown beauty, and her eyes narrowed dangerously.’
  • 2Come after in time or order.

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

    ‘he has difficulty in following written instructions’
    • ‘Speaking exclusively to the Yorkshire Post, he said the electorate should look at whether politicians follow their own rules.’
    • ‘It's absolutely essential that you understand and follow everything that I tell you to do.’
    • ‘We like to think of people exercising their personal judgment, and not just blindly following the rules.’
    • ‘But dietary advice is often neglected by doctors because so many people do not follow it.’
    • ‘I was in a hurry to do this and just blindly followed the instructions.’
    • ‘Why didn't people follow orders like they were supposed to?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How rigidly people follow the rules may depend upon how strictly the rules are enforced.’
    • ‘Edgar immediately followed instruction and we walked passed him.’
    • ‘He also advised that people follow the traditional rules set in place.’
    • ‘Smith said teachers follow standard rules, such as avoiding being left alone with pupils without witnesses.’
    • ‘If something is done literally, a person follows instructions ‘to the letter’, without flexibility or imagination.’
    • ‘In fact it's not even that important to me that people follow the instructions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, he regretted that people had not followed the words of Bharathi.’
    • ‘The instruction was followed immediately as they stepped out in unison before moving one step to the right.’
    • ‘People might not follow your recommendations the first time, but they will listen the second time.’
    • ‘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.’
    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. 3.1 Conform to.
      ‘the film faithfully follows Shakespeare's plot’
      • ‘When making decisions, state officials refuse to take reality into account and follow the same old models.’
      • ‘No other religious book on the earth follows this Divine Pattern and style that is so distinct.’
      • ‘Most people follow a subsistence way of life, growing food mainly for their own needs with little left over.’
      • ‘Robert Harvey follows in this tradition by emphasising the English dimension in the contest.’
      • ‘Moreover, the starting and ending points of these cycles follow a pattern related to seasons on Earth.’
      • ‘This book follows the conventional Thames & Hudson formula of introductory text plus detailed case studies.’
      • ‘He said the pilot's decision on silence followed standard procedure and that the government supported it.’
      • ‘They worked to make the films follow the books closely and did a fantastic job of this.’
      • ‘Agency, state, and university human subject protocols were followed to ensure subject confidentiality.’
      • ‘In that respect, the film follows Wells' book faithfully.’
      • ‘Whitt's book follows a predictably chronological organization, mirroring the author's evolution as a creative artist.’
      • ‘Shadow Skill slavishly follows the rules of the fighting anime genre as if it expects a test later.’
      • ‘In India, many people follow a tradition; if their family tradition is that they are going to talk about death, they do so.’
      • ‘Teachers follow a traditional way of teaching and work with a rigid framework.’
      • ‘The results are a stunning mix of surprisingly wearable garments that develop, rather than slavishly follow, current trends.’
      • ‘They are little social commentaries and that is following in the great Scottish tradition.’
      • ‘All twenty five of the books will follow a fairly rigid design sense, so most of the work was done in the initial stages.’
      • ‘As far as the modern names are concerned, the book follows the IMA guidelines, although the author does prefer to capitalize mineral names.’
      • ‘The closer a particular product follows the ANSI standard protocols, the easier it will be to use that product in a particular application.’
      • ‘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. 3.2 Act according to the lead or example of (someone)
      ‘he follows Aristotle in believing this’
      • ‘Segregation by sex is common, and children tend to follow their parents example and occupations.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Now she hopes other business people will follow her lead and contribute.’
      • ‘I spent my childhood blindly following his lead, striving to become the man he was.’
      • ‘We know from grim experience that footballers slavishly follow the lead of their manager.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is much easier to follow someone else's lead than to come up with the route yourself and lead the group.’
      • ‘Ainslie followed Shirley Robertson's lead in claiming Britain's second sailing gold of the Games.’
      • ‘I hope other people will follow our lead and contact Get Connected!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She hoped other businesses would follow the Eric Wright Group's lead, stressing it was vital the momentum did not slow down.’
      • ‘Giving money to charities and building bridges does not mean that people should follow your lead.’
      • ‘One name to watch out for is Nigel Clough who could yet follow his dad to glory.’
      • ‘They immediately mounted their horses, then followed his lead deeper into the woods.’
      • ‘The people have followed the doings of some of their principal servants in front of the Hutton inquiry.’
      imitate, copy, mimic, ape, reproduce, mirror, echo
      View synonyms
    3. 3.3 Treat as a teacher or guide.
      ‘those who seek to follow Jesus Christ’
      • ‘I reasoned with myself that we had tried to follow God, we had observed the Talmud.’
      • ‘Now the party of the circumcision would refer to Christians or people who follow Jesus who practice circumcision.’
      • ‘We seek to follow Jesus, acknowledging that we are all learners and flawed.’
  • 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. 4.1 Take an active interest in or be a supporter of.
      ‘supporters who have followed the club through thick and thin’
      • ‘Most sports that people follow pit either individuals or teams against each other, all season long.’
      • ‘Mel follows current affairs rather more closely than me.’
      • ‘People follow each move with eager interest, and discuss the idiosyncrasies of the players.’
      • ‘I was just fifteen when the first section was launched, and I've followed it with some interest for all those years.’
      • ‘This merits our attention, regardless of what division we follow the closest.’
      • ‘He's lived in that country, knows some of the participants in the current crisis, and follows events there closely.’
      • ‘The players are aware that people have followed them all season and they wanted to do it for them as well.’
      • ‘This will be one situation that will be followed with interest from a lot of different perspectives.’
      • ‘In his leisure time he follows West Ham United and plays golf off a handicap of 12’
      • ‘I followed the Premiership matches on satellite television in Finland so I have a good idea of what to expect.’
      • ‘In fact, many people eagerly follow the weather forecasts whenever bad weather is looming.’
      • ‘I don't follow the video game industry much, but at first glance it looks like Sega is making a good move.’
      • ‘Give them an issue, and a decent debate, and people will follow politics on TV.’
      • ‘So we will continue to follow that live event that's happening right now.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They all have a satellite dish, and they follow everything.’
      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.’
      • ‘Fly Me To The Moon follows the flight path of a group of terrified travellers striving to conquer their fear of flying.’
      • ‘Set in the late 18th century, the film follows our very fictionalized brothers, played by Matt Damon and Heath Ledger.’
      • ‘The film follows the Jalsindhi villagers through hunger strikes, rallies, police brutality and a six year Supreme Court battle.’
      • ‘The story follows closely the real events which happened in the '70s while changing only a few details.’
      • ‘This book basically follows a Chicken as he wanders through the farm.’
      • ‘The programme follows Bernard O'Malley's journey as he attempts to uncover any clues the police may have missed.’
      • ‘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 Ramu, who enjoys teaching Indian dance in New Delhi but has far greater ambitions to become a superstar.’
      • ‘The film follows an ubergeek in his ungodly pursuit of Alison, the girl of his dreams.’
      • ‘Found only in Luke, the story follows two critical events.’
      • ‘The programme follows American-born Des as he visits some of the worst trouble-spots in Ireland.’
      • ‘And the second book follows Bourdain as he criss-crosses the world sampling local delicacies from the sublime to the bizarre.’
      • ‘This book follows the whole ‘Modern Pagan working magik in the big city’ deal.’
      • ‘As may be expected, the book follows the church's historical development.’
      • ‘Set in 1953 at Wellesley College, the film follows Stiles and her classmates on the brink of the feminist revolution.’
    3. 4.3 Track (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’
      • ‘I'm a luddite in comparison with some of the people I follow on Twitter, but a nerd in comparison with many people.’
      • ‘We do note however that a whole bunch of Labour MP's are following us on 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.’
      • ‘Please also join me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.’
      • ‘There's no option to become friends with the Queen on Facebook, nor follow her updates on Twitter.’
      • ‘We've got about 20,000 people who follow us on Facebook and MySpace.’
      • ‘Twitter burps out your thoughts in 140-character or less messages to people who follow you.’
      • ‘This may not make much sense to people who have only recently started following this site, FYI.’
      • ‘Send me a message on Twitter or on Facebook, or you can follow me on Foursquare as well, and check out my blog.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are only a couple hundred people currently following us 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.’
      • ‘And while you're on the Web page, check out how you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.’
      • ‘I follow him on Facebook, but it's all alarmist activist type stuff that just doesn't appeal to me.’
      • ‘I'd just gotten on Facebook to follow my daughter.’
      • ‘He was giving updates by the second, by the minute, to people who were following him on Twitter.’
      • ‘Following people on Twitter only reminds you what you could be watching at the Glastonbury festival.’
      • ‘Make sure to 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. 4.4 Understand the meaning or tendency of (a speaker or argument)
      ‘I still don't follow you’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is necessary to set out parts of this schedule if the argument is to be followed.’
      • ‘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. 5.1 Undertake or carry out (a course of action or study)
      ‘she followed a strict diet’
      • ‘Now, did the primary judge at any point indicate which of those courses would have been followed?’
      • ‘Lighting a lamp near a Tulsi plant is a ritual followed by people almost all over the country.’
      • ‘The trouble is that many people do not follow a good diet.’
      • ‘These academic subjects formed the basis of the studia humanitatis, the course of study followed by most young men of the period.’
      • ‘The timing of this may well also depend on what course is to be followed and when the matter could be brought on.’
      • ‘Do your best to follow the most effective practices and be the best leader you can be.’
      • ‘It's going to take me a long time to calm her down, so I decide to follow the easiest course.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The United States, incidentally, was hardly the only occupying power to follow such a course.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Women who strictly follow the Atkins diet could be damaging their chances of getting pregnant, new research has shown.’
      • ‘Paul spends hours every week working on arm wrestling techniques, follows a strict training regime and carefully studies videos of opponents.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Class stratification is also at work as those in the highest castes follow the strictest vegetarian diet.’
      • ‘Despite this, Hon Shun followed a strict moral code, particularly with regard to telepathy.’
      • ‘You might be worried that if humans followed such a course, it would expose animals to danger.’
      • ‘But Maute says he follows a strict training regime to keep in top form.’
      • ‘Like good Hindus, langurs follow a strict vegetarian diet - give or take the occasional munch of a locust or larva.’
      • ‘If either of these courses had been followed, there would be no problem with the presumption of innocence.’
      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
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • follow in someone's footsteps

  • follow one's nose

    • 1Trust to one's instincts.

      • ‘It was thrilling to find something the old-fashioned way, to track it down, to follow my nose and ears and eyes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Turn right at the Romanc sign and then follow your nose.’
      • ‘An artist seeking a way to protest against graduating from university with student-loan debts of £15,000 has decided to follow his nose.’
      • ‘He followed his nose and it led him to a large black building with graffiti on it.’
      • ‘So most of the time you're simply following your nose as to what's going on.’
      • ‘Too lazy to actually hunt, I followed my nose back to Mom's house.’
      • ‘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.’
    • 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.’
      • ‘Just wait for the unmistakable smell of heavy oil mingled with a teeth-clenching sweetness and follow your nose.’
      • ‘Instead, all they have to do is follow their nose - the sweet, strong smell pervades the entire gallery.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She rolled on her side, following her nose to breakfast, that Will must have prepared before she woke.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She felt something warm and some kind of smell intrigued her so she followed her nose, until she disappears from the desert all together.’
      • ‘As she descended the stairs, she could smell the aroma of roast beef and she followed her nose into the dining room.’
      • ‘Visit the souk of the goldsmiths, for example, or the hat makers, or follow your nose to the spice market.’
    • 3Go straight ahead.

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

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

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

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.

      • ‘They totalled 657 for 8 declared after being bowled out for 106 and asked to follow on.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sodumo followed on 214, having scored a valuable 55, as he played the anchor for a swinging Tyron Henderson.’
      • ‘By the close, they had edged to 12 for 0 in their second innings after being asked to follow on.’
      • ‘He was out hooking for a dogged 64 and guiltily apologised to his team-mates as England followed on.’
      • ‘England, following on, needed 92 runs to avoid an innings defeat with only three wickets in hand.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After being bowled out for 191, England followed on, making 532, and batting for nearly three days.’
      • ‘This match entered history because a team won after following on.’
      • ‘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.

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

    • Continue an action or task to its conclusion.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I had to follow it through to its conclusion or semi-conclusion.’
      • ‘They were there at the onset of this specific struggle, and they want to follow it through to its conclusion.’
      • ‘The arrestingly capricious mood of his concerto's second movement is not followed through.’
      • ‘Lewis has found an incredible story here, and he follows it through to its logical conclusion.’
      • ‘Once we report the complaint, we are committed to following a civil case through to its conclusion, again out of fairness.’
      • ‘Lamont follows this argument through to its logical conclusion.’
      • ‘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.’
      complete, bring to completion, bring to a finish, continue to the end, see something through
      View synonyms
  • follow something up

    • Pursue or investigate something further.

      ‘I decided to follow up the letters with phone calls’
      • ‘Hope Hospital is investigating why the first smear was not followed up and Claire was told she could not have cancer.’
      • ‘My contention is they didn't follow it up or investigate any of it further.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Any site brought to our attention is followed up immediately and legal proceedings initiated where appropriate.’
      • ‘We carry out annual inspections and there are also spot checks and any complaints are followed up.’
      • ‘Your task is to follow up with the progress of each task and keep everyone on the same page.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Our patients are part of an ongoing investigation, and they were followed up prospectively as part of their clinical evaluation process.’
      • ‘Five were found to be playing truant and their cases will be followed up by education welfare officers.’
      investigate, research, find out about, look into, dig into, delve into, make enquiries into, enquire about, ask questions about, pursue, chase up
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

follow

/ˈfɒləʊ/