What does follow mean?

Definitions for follow
ˈfɒl oʊfol·low

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word follow.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. followverb

    to travel behind, go after, come after

    "The ducklings followed their mother around the pond"; "Please follow the guide through the museum"

  2. postdate, followverb

    be later in time

    "Tuesday always follows Monday"

  3. follow, fall outverb

    come as a logical consequence; follow logically

    "It follows that your assertion is false"; "the theorem falls out nicely"

  4. follow, travel alongverb

    travel along a certain course

    "follow the road"; "follow the trail"

  5. comply, follow, abide byverb

    act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes

    "He complied with my instructions"; "You must comply or else!"; "Follow these simple rules"; "abide by the rules"

  6. follow, come afterverb

    come after in time, as a result

    "A terrible tsunami followed the earthquake"

  7. follow, conform toverb

    behave in accordance or in agreement with

    "Follow a pattern"; "Follow my example"

  8. followverb

    be next

    "Mary plays best, with John and Sue following"

  9. adopt, follow, espouseverb

    choose and follow; as of theories, ideas, policies, strategies or plans

    "She followed the feminist movement"; "The candidate espouses Republican ideals"

  10. followverb

    to bring something about at a later time than

    "She followed dinner with a brandy"; "He followed his lecture with a question and answer period"

  11. take after, followverb

    imitate in behavior; take as a model

    "Teenagers follow their friends in everything"

  12. trace, followverb

    follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something

    "We must follow closely the economic development is Cuba" ; "trace the student's progress"

  13. watch, observe, follow, watch over, keep an eye onverb

    follow with the eyes or the mind

    "Keep an eye on the baby, please!"; "The world is watching Sarajevo"; "She followed the men with the binoculars"

  14. succeed, come after, followverb

    be the successor (of)

    "Carter followed Ford"; "Will Charles succeed to the throne?"

  15. play along, accompany, followverb

    perform an accompaniment to

    "The orchestra could barely follow the frequent pitch changes of the soprano"

  16. keep up, keep abreast, followverb

    keep informed

    "He kept up on his country's foreign policies"

  17. come, followverb

    to be the product or result

    "Melons come from a vine"; "Understanding comes from experience"

  18. followverb

    accept and follow the leadership or command or guidance of

    "Let's follow our great helmsman!"; "She followed a guru for years"

  19. followverb

    adhere to or practice

    "These people still follow the laws of their ancient religion"

  20. be, followverb

    work in a specific place, with a specific subject, or in a specific function

    "He is a herpetologist"; "She is our resident philosopher"

  21. surveil, follow, surveyverb

    keep under surveillance

    "The police had been following him for weeks but they could not prove his involvement in the bombing"

  22. pursue, followverb

    follow in or as if in pursuit

    "The police car pursued the suspected attacker"; "Her bad deed followed her and haunted her dreams all her life"

  23. followverb

    grasp the meaning

    "Can you follow her argument?"; "When he lectures, I cannot follow"

  24. stick to, stick with, followverb

    keep to

    "Stick to your principles"; "stick to the diet"


  1. followverb

    To go or come after in physical space.

    Follow that car!

  2. followverb

    To go or come after in a sequence.

    B follows A in the alphabet.

  3. followverb

    To carry out in accordance to (orders, instructions, etc).

    Follow these instructions to the letter.

  4. followverb

    To live one's life according to (religion, teachings, etc).

  5. followverb

    To understand, to pay attention to.

    Do you follow me?

  6. followverb

    To watch, to keep track of (reports of) some event or person.

    I followed the incumbent throughout the election.

  7. followverb

    To be a logical consequence of.

    It follows that if two numbers are not equal then one is larger than the other.

  8. Etymology: folwen, folgen from folgian, fylgan 'to follow, pursue', from fulʒēnan (compare West Frisian folgje, volgen, folgen), from *fulkan 'folk'. More at folk.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To FOLLOWverb

    Etymology: folgian, Saxon; volgen, Dutch.

    I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man, than follow him like a dwarf. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Wherever guilt can fly, revenge can follow. Irene.

    And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle. 1 Sa. xvii. 13.

    Such smiling rogues as these sooth every passion,
    That in the nature of their lords rebels:
    As knowing nought, like dogs, but following. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    Let not the muse then flatter lawless sway,
    Nor follow fortune where she leads the way. Alexander Pope.

    Not yielding over to old age his country delights, he was at that time following a merlin. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    Some pious tears the pitying hero paid,
    And follow’d with his eyes the fleeting shade. John Dryden, Æn.

    We follow fate, which does too fast pursue. Dryden.

    Where Rome keepeth that which is ancienter and better, others, whom we much more affect, leaving it for newer, and changing it for worse, we had rather follow the perfections of them whom we like not, than in defects resemble them whom we love. Richard Hooker, b. v. s. 28.

    Ill patterns are sure to be followed more than good rules. John Locke, on Education.

    If all who do not follow oral tradition as their only rule of faith are out of the church, then all who follow the council of Trent are no Christians. John Tillotson, Preface.

    Most men admire
    Virtue, who follow not her lore. Paradise Regain’d, b. vii.

    They bound themselves to his laws and obedience; and in case it had been followed upon them, as it should have been, they should have been reduced to perpetual civility. Edmund Spenser.

    He that undertaketh and followeth other mens business for gain, shall fall into suits. Ecclus. xxix. 9.

  2. To Followverb

    Peter followed afar off. Luke xxii. 54.

    The famine shall follow close after you. Jer. xlii. 16.

    Welcome all that lead or follow
    To the oracle of Apollo. Ben Jonson.

    If the neglect or abuse of liberty to examine what would really and truly make for his happiness misleads him, the miscarriages that follow on it must be imputed to his own election. John Locke.

    To tempt them to do what is neither for their own nor the good of those under their care, great mischiefs cannot but follow. John Locke.

    Though there are or have been sometimes dwarfs, and sometimes giants in the world; yet it does not follow that there must be such in every age, nor in every country. William Temple.

    This dangerous doctrine must necessarily follow, from making all political power to be nothing else but Adam’s paternal power. John Locke.

    Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord. Hos.


  1. Follow

    Follow / "Swallow" is the fourth single by English electronic band Crystal Fighters from their album Star of Love. The double A-side was released on 27 September 2010 through Zirkulo records, to positive reviews. "Follow" was also featured on EA Sports FIFA 13.


  1. follow

    To follow means to go or come after someone or something, usually in the same direction or path. It can also refer to adhering to, obeying, or accepting the guidance, instructions, or suggestions of a person, organization, or belief system. Additionally, it can mean to monitor or keep track of someone's activities or updates, typically on social media platforms.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Followverb

    to go or come after; to move behind in the same path or direction; hence, to go with (a leader, guide, etc.); to accompany; to attend

  2. Followverb

    to endeavor to overtake; to go in pursuit of; to chase; to pursue; to prosecute

  3. Followverb

    to accept as authority; to adopt the opinions of; to obey; to yield to; to take as a rule of action; as, to follow good advice

  4. Followverb

    to copy after; to take as an example

  5. Followverb

    to succeed in order of time, rank, or office

  6. Followverb

    to result from, as an effect from a cause, or an inference from a premise

  7. Followverb

    to watch, as a receding object; to keep the eyes fixed upon while in motion; to keep the mind upon while in progress, as a speech, musical performance, etc.; also, to keep up with; to understand the meaning, connection, or force of, as of a course of thought or argument

  8. Followverb

    to walk in, as a road or course; to attend upon closely, as a profession or calling

  9. Followverb

    to go or come after; -- used in the various senses of the transitive verb: To pursue; to attend; to accompany; to be a result; to imitate

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Follow

    fol′ō, v.t. to go after or behind: to come after, succeed: to pursue: to attend: to imitate: to obey: to adopt, as an opinion: to keep the eye or mind fixed on: to pursue, as an object of desire: to result from, as an effect from a cause: (B.) to strive to obtain.—v.i. to come after another: to result.—n. (billiards) a stroke which causes the ball to follow the one which it has struck.—ns. Foll′ow-board, in moulding, the board on which the pattern is laid; Foll′ower, one who comes after: a copier: a disciple: a servant-girl's sweetheart; Foll′owing, the whole body of supporters.—adj. coming next after.—Follow home, to follow closely: to follow to the end; Follow on (B.), to continue endeavours; Follow suit, in card-playing, to play a card of the same suit as the one which was led: to do anything on the same lines as another; Follow up, to pursue an advantage closely. [A.S. folgian, fylgian, app. a compound, but obscure; Ger. folgen.]

Editors Contribution

  1. follow

    To act or behave according to a specific code or rule.

    We have to follow the governmental guidelines to ensure we comply.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 14, 2020  

  2. follow

    To read, be aware and understand a code, guideline, process, procedure, standard or document.

    WE had to follow the standard to ensure we were compliant.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 14, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'follow' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1092

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'follow' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1243

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'follow' in Verbs Frequency: #43

How to pronounce follow?

How to say follow in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of follow in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of follow in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of follow in a Sentence

  1. Manolo Caceres:

    The fact that people recognize me and show me love is what keeps me going, no-one used to follow the national team. The people said this guy with the drum is nuts, but I just wanted to support Spain and to represent my country.

  2. Gene Munster from Loup Ventures:

    While this tweet (after market hours) and the quick correction seem innocuous, the SEC isn't likely to cut Musk any slack, musk's unwillingness to follow the rules is part of what you have to be willing to accept as an investor in Tesla.

  3. Richard Hughes:

    (Deputy clerk Brian Mason) is trying to follow the court's mandate as well as his superior ordering him to issue only these changed forms, ... It also appears to this counsel those changes were made in some attempt to circumvent the court's orders and may have raised to the level of interference against court's orders.


    my message to all black people globally is this:-did we not have enough great examples of leaders and achievers to follow? so, why were they hidden from us? who deceived us? we must resurrect them all and learn the hidden history lessons they lived before it gets too late.

  5. Jason Crow:

    Local law enforcement and local leaders have to follow the rules. They have to follow the laws.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for follow

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"follow." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/follow>.

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    showing intellectual penetration or emotional depth
    A nasty
    B greedy
    C profound
    D brilliant

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