Definition of pursuit in US English:

pursuit

noun

  • 1The action of following or pursuing someone or something.

    ‘the cat crouched in the grass in pursuit of a bird’
    ‘those whose business is the pursuit of knowledge’
    • ‘He chased and harried in pursuit of the ball, and a goal.’
    • ‘His critics have always accepted that he is courageous, determined and utterly ruthless in pursuit of the causes in which he believes.’
    • ‘He is chasing himself in pursuit of a glory that has eluded thousands of cricketers who have played this game.’
    • ‘Quality is going in pursuit of audiences and name presenters.’
    • ‘Hot in pursuit of their goals, democracy can be forgotten and principles of civil liberties and human rights take a back seat.’
    • ‘Cut to a fast-paced car chase, cop cars in pursuit of suspects in a getaway car.’
    • ‘In a ballot earlier this year, firefighters voted by nine to one to take strike action in pursuit of a pay increase of 40 percent.’
    • ‘As such, helicopter borne sections will swoop down on suspect vehicles in pursuit of looters and the illegal oil trade.’
    • ‘An advocate has a goal in mind and, in pursuit of this goal, searches for legal arguments that might persuade a court.’
    • ‘All those who ran or walked the first fixture collected three points and will now have target times to chase in pursuit of the overall title.’
    • ‘As is customary at the start of a new hunting season, Ferry and the South Shropshire hunt, where he is joint master, were in pursuit of fox cubs.’
    • ‘There is something awe-inspiring about it, and something tragic about people dying in pursuit of those dreams.’
    • ‘The vehicle sped off in pursuit of the prisoner and quickly caught up with him.’
    • ‘Northumbria Police said no police vehicles were in pursuit of the stolen car at the time of the crash.’
    • ‘Wayne was in pursuit of a vehicle that had been reported stolen.’
    • ‘The land was churned up by riders and followers of the Bedale Hunt in pursuit of a fox last Saturday.’
    • ‘For those who are willing to travel in pursuit of unusual plants and an exotic garden, a trip to Logan Botanic Garden in Galloway is well worth the effort.’
    • ‘You can hear dogs barking in the background and, yes, look, cut to a shot of hounds scampering in pursuit of something small and fluffy.’
    • ‘The football was of the highest standard and urged on by a highly vocal support both teams were giving one hundred percent in pursuit of the title.’
    • ‘The mantra that, in pursuit of serenity, you should change those things you can change and accept those you cannot has become rather dangerous.’
    chasing, pursuing, stalking, tracking, trailing, shadowing, dogging, hounding
    striving towards, push towards, aspiration for, quest after, quest for, search for
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A bicycle race in which competitors start from different parts of a track and attempt to overtake one another.
      • ‘There are still plenty of individual pursuits to be found in mountain bike racing.’
      • ‘He is among the favourites to win a second gold in the track individual pursuit on Saturday.’
      • ‘The track pursuit specialist ultimately wants two more Olympic gold medals but has also been tipped to star in Tour de France time trials.’
    2. 1.2Physiology The action of the eye in following a moving object.
      • ‘Unlike saccades, smooth pursuit cannot easily be initiated voluntarily without a moving target to follow.’
      • ‘Aging of the extra-ocular musculature results in changes in both smooth pursuit and saccadic eye movements.’
  • 2often pursuitswith modifier An activity of a specified kind, especially a recreational or athletic one.

    ‘a whole range of leisure pursuits’
    • ‘This might be an opportune time to explore or return to hobbies, leisure activities or career pursuits.’
    • ‘It is my prediction that protesting may yet become the recreational pursuit of choice in the 21st century.’
    • ‘Most at home in the outdoors, she finds an outlet for her interest in the natural in a range of recreational pursuits.’
    • ‘Despite the entry of a myriad of new age sports onto the community calendar, traditional leisure pursuits such as shooting seem to be holding their own.’
    • ‘To establish constitutional protections for recreational pursuits such as hunting is not only inappropriate, but redundant.’
    • ‘Interest in golf as a sporting/leisure pursuit has increased dramatically over the last number of years.’
    • ‘A very wide range of extra curricular activities is offered, including performing arts, sport and leisure pursuits.’
    • ‘For others, the time to think has also meant the opportunity to be creative - to try artistic pursuits or to write that ‘best seller’ many people believe they have in them.’
    • ‘Bulgaria's industrial revolution did not bring levels of development as advanced as in other countries, but people acquired more leisure time for cultural pursuits.’
    • ‘Aesthetic pursuits, sporty activity and creative pastimes are rejuvenating.’
    • ‘The majority of those seeking employment found it, and the introduction of structured working hours meant that recreational pursuits took a more prominent place in everyday life.’
    • ‘His illness interfered with his workplace responsibilities, recreational pursuits, and his hobby of stamp collecting.’
    • ‘His leisure time pursuits included stamp collecting, operatic music, cycling, walking and athletics.’
    • ‘It is set in more than 200 acres of forest, with a golf course and leisure pursuits such as riding, cycling and rambling.’
    • ‘Hann claims he has given up alcohol in recent months and taken up other sporting pursuits such as tennis and fishing.’
    • ‘He was not interested in one sport but intrigued by the dynamics of the whole range of athletic pursuits.’
    • ‘Kids went roller skating, played in the Jungle Tumble Land, had arts and crafts lessons and a host of other sporting and fun pursuits including football, tennis, badminton and basketball.’
    • ‘Among his favoured recreational pursuits is painting.’
    • ‘The officers use sport as a tool to engage young people in active recreation and leisure pursuits and facilities at the level to suit their needs.’
    • ‘His leisure pursuits are listed as rugby, fishing and shooting.’
    activity, leisure activity, leisure pursuit, leisure interest, hobby, pastime, diversion, avocation, recreation, relaxation, divertissement, sideline, entertainment, amusement, sport, game
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • give pursuit

    • (of a person, animal, or vehicle) start to chase another.

      • ‘On sighting a pod of sperm whales, the Essex lowered her boats and gave pursuit.’
      • ‘Preston, attempting to give pursuit, angrily shoots a news camera that gets in his way.’
      • ‘A cab passenger was held hostage and taken on an hour-long terror ride when a gang stole the car - then fired a gun at another cab which gave pursuit.’
      • ‘The dedicated police motorcyclist gave pursuit, caught him and arrested him at 3.15 pm.’
      • ‘He fled the scene, but the motorcyclist gave pursuit and led police to where the driver was hiding on a nearby roof.’
      • ‘He sheathed his bloody sword and ran into the shadows, hoping no one would give pursuit.’
      • ‘Calling in their firepower, the 1st Cavalry gave pursuit.’
      • ‘The rebels gave pursuit, hooting and hollering in victory.’
      • ‘Officer-in-charge, Kerry, jumped ashore and gave pursuit while other units saturated area with fire and beached placing assault parties ashore.’
      • ‘A second later, Samantha, Reid, and Durant gave pursuit.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French purseute ‘following after’, from pursuer (see pursue). Early senses included ‘persecution, annoyance’ and in legal contexts ‘petition, prosecution’.

Pronunciation

pursuit

/pərˈsut//pərˈso͞ot/