from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To come or go after; proceed behind.
  • intransitive verb To go after in pursuit.
  • intransitive verb To keep under surveillance.
  • intransitive verb To move along the course of; take.
  • intransitive verb To move in the direction of; be guided by.
  • intransitive verb To lie in the same path as.
  • intransitive verb To be parallel to.
  • intransitive verb To accept the guidance, command, or leadership of.
  • intransitive verb To adhere to; practice.
  • intransitive verb To take as a model or precedent; imitate.
  • intransitive verb To act in agreement or compliance with; obey.
  • intransitive verb To keep to or stick to.
  • intransitive verb To engage in (a trade or occupation); work at.
  • intransitive verb To come after in order, time, or position.
  • intransitive verb To bring something about at a later time than or as a consequence of.
  • intransitive verb To occur or be evident as a consequence of.
  • intransitive verb To watch or observe closely.
  • intransitive verb To be attentive to; pay close heed to.
  • intransitive verb To keep oneself informed of the course, progress, or fortunes of.
  • intransitive verb To grasp the meaning or logic of; understand.
  • intransitive verb To come, move, or take place after another person or thing in order or time.
  • intransitive verb To occur or be evident as a consequence; result.
  • intransitive verb To grasp the meaning or reasoning of something; understand.
  • noun Games A billiards shot in which the cue ball is struck above center so that it follows the path of the object ball after impact.
  • idiom (as follows) As will be stated next. Used to introduce a specified enumeration, explanation, or command.
  • idiom (follow (one's) nose) To move straight ahead or in a direct path.
  • idiom Informal (follow (one's) nose) To be guided by instinct.
  • idiom Games (follow suit) To play a card of the same suit as the one led.
  • idiom (follow suit) To do as another has done; follow an example.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In billiards, a stroke which causes the cue-ball to follow the object-ball after impact.
  • noun The difference in the external diameter of a spring, especially of a coiled or helical spring, when unloaded and when compressed by its working load. The torsion of the rod which forms the coil tends to increase the diameter as the spring closes.
  • To go or come after; move behind in the same direction: as, the dog followed his master home; follow me.
  • To come after in natural sequence, or in order of time; succeed.
  • To engage in the pursuit of; seek to overtake or come up with; pursue; chase: as, to follow game or an enemy.
  • To pursue as an object or purpose; strive after; endeavor to obtain or attain to.
  • To keep up with, or with the course or progress of; observe or comprehend the sequence or connecting links of: as, to follow an argument, or the plot of a play.
  • To watch or regard the movements, progress, or course of: as, to follow a person with the eye.
  • To accept as a leader or guide; be led or guided by; accompany; hence, to adhere to, as disciples to a master or his teachings; accept as authority; adopt the opinions, cause, or side of.
  • To conform to; comply with; take as a guide, example, or model: as, to follow the fashion; to follow advice or admonition.
  • To engage in or be concerned with as a pursuit; pursue the duties or requirements of; carry on the business of; prosecute: as, to follow trade, a calling, or a profession; to follow the stage.
  • To result from, as an effect from a cause or an inference from premises; come after as a result or consequence: as, poverty often follows extravagance or idleness; intemperance is often followed by disease.
  • Hence— To follow the line of speech, argument, or conduct adopted by a predecessor.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English folowen, from Old English folgian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English folwen, folgen from Old English folġian, fylgan 'to follow, pursue', from Proto-Germanic *fulʒēnan (compare West Frisian folgje, Dutch volgen, German folgen), from *fulkan 'folk'. More at folk.


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  • If you would go to the political world, follow the great road, —follow that marketman, keep his dust in your eyes, and it will lead you straight to it; for it, too, has its place merely, and does not occupy all space.

    Walking 1914

  • I will follow your holy deception; �-follow till ye have brought me to the feet of my Father in Heaven, where I shall find you all with folded wings spangling the sapphire dusk whereon stands His throne, which is our home.

    Alec Forbes of Howglen George MacDonald 1864

  • And in the former stanza, for _all follow this_, we might read, _all follow_ thee.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies Samuel Johnson 1746

  • The storyline, while a bit tough to follow, is very interesting, and seems to follow from the high level of integration between humanity and technology depicted.

    The Top 10 Science Fiction Anime 2007

  • The best course for the White House to follow is to totally and absolutely ignore the Fox News organization.

    Dunn leaving White House 2009

  • One good practice to follow is to use larger stones as often as possible for the lower courses.

    Dry-stone walls last for generations, require some engineering Tim Carter 2010

  • There are many believers of Christ but I would argue that there are few followers of Christ; for to follow is to consider your neighbor (i.e., your fellow human being) and give unselfishly to those in need.

    Obama considering major health care speech 2009

  • Whenever all the media and political establishment are jumping on the telephone wire like a horde of blackbirds, embracing the same conventional wisdom about the results of an election, the usual rule to follow is to jump in the other direction.

    Lanny Davis: Premature Celebration by Republicans? Lanny Davis 2010

  • I believe the only rules our soldiers should be made to follow is to win.

    Sound Politics: The Religion of Peace Marches On 2006

  • Yes, ma'am, you have a-- that is what we call a follow-up.

    CNN Transcript Oct 7, 2008 2008


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    April 22, 2013