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

  • transitive v. To follow in an effort to overtake or capture; chase: a fox that was pursued by hounds.
  • transitive v. To strive to gain or accomplish: pursue lofty political goals.
  • transitive v. To proceed along the course of; follow: a ship that pursued the southern course.
  • transitive v. To carry further; advance: Let's not pursue this argument.
  • transitive v. To be engaged in (a vocation or hobby, for example).
  • transitive v. To court: a lady who was pursued by many suitors.
  • transitive v. To continue to torment or afflict; haunt: was pursued by the demons of lust and greed.
  • intransitive v. To follow in an effort to overtake or capture; chase.
  • intransitive v. To carry on; continue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To go in pursuit; to follow.
  • intransitive v. To go on; to proceed, especially in argument or discourse; to continue.
  • intransitive v. To follow a matter judicially, as a complaining party; to act as a prosecutor.
  • transitive v. To follow with a view to overtake; to follow eagerly, or with haste; to chase.
  • transitive v. To seek; to use or adopt measures to obtain.
  • transitive v. To proceed along, with a view to some and or object; to follow; to go in
  • transitive v. To prosecute; to be engaged in; to continue.
  • transitive v. To follow as an example; to imitate.
  • transitive v. To follow with enmity; to persecute; to call to account.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To follow; proceed along; follow in action.
  • To follow with the view of overtaking; follow with haste; chase; hunt: as, to pursue a hare; to pursue a fleeing enemy.
  • To seek; seek to obtain: as, to pursue a remedy at law; to pursue pleasure.
  • To follow close upon; attend; be present with; accompany.
  • To follow vindictively or with enmity; persecute; treat with hostility; seek to injure.
  • To follow as a principle of action, profession, trade, or occupation; prosecute; practise systematically; carry on.
  • To follow up; continue; proceed with.
  • To endeavor; try.
  • Synonyms To track, hound.
  • To strive for.
  • To conduct, keep up, persist in.
  • To give chase; charge.
  • To seek; endeavor; try.
  • To go on; continue; proceed.
  • To sue; act as prosecutor; take legal steps as plaintiff or prosecutor.
  • n. Pursuit.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. follow in or as if in pursuit
  • v. carry further or advance
  • v. carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in
  • v. go in search of or hunt for


Middle English pursuen, from Anglo-Norman pursuer, from Vulgar Latin *prōsequere, from Latin prōsequī; see prosecute.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman pursuer, poursuire et al., Old French porsuir, from Latin prōsequī (though influenced by persequī). (Wiktionary)



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