What does pursue mean?

Definitions for pursue

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prosecute, engage, pursueverb

    carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in

    "She pursued many activities"; "They engaged in a discussion"

  2. 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"

  3. quest for, go after, quest after, pursueverb

    go in search of or hunt for

    "pursue a hobby"

  4. pursue, follow up on, act onverb

    carry further or advance

    "Can you act on this matter soon?"


  1. pursueverb

    To follow with harmful intent; to try to harm, to persecute, torment.

  2. pursueverb

    To follow urgently, originally with intent to capture or harm; to chase.

  3. pursueverb

    To follow, travel down (a particular way, course of action etc.).

    Her rival pursued a quite different course.

  4. pursueverb

    To aim for, go after (a specified objective, situation etc.).

  5. pursueverb

    To participate in (an activity, business etc.); to practise, follow (a profession).

  6. Etymology: From pursuer, poursuire et al., porsuir, from prosequi (though influenced by persequi).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PURSUEverb

    Etymology: poursuivre, Fr.

    Love like a shadow flies, when substance love pursues;
    Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues. William Shakespeare.

    When Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, and pursued. Gen. xiv. 14.

    To thy speed add wings,
    Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue
    Thy lingering. John Milton.

    As righteousness tendeth to life; so he that pursueth evil, pursueth it to his own death. Prov. xii. 19.

    Insatiate to pursue
    Vain war with heaven. John Milton.

    I will pursue
    This ancient story, whether false or true. Dryden.

    When men pursue their thoughts of space, they stop at the confines of body, as if space were there at an end. John Locke.

    The fame of ancient matrons you pursue,
    And stand a blameless pattern to the new. Dryden.

    Let us not then pursue
    Splendid vassalage. John Milton.

    We happiness pursue; we fly from pain;
    Yet the pursuit, and yet the flight is vain. Matthew Prior.

  2. To Pursueverb

    To go on; to proceed.

    I have, pursues Carneades, wondered chymists should not consider. Boyle.


  1. pursue

    To pursue means to actively and purposefully go after or seek something, often a goal, objective, or desired outcome. It involves engaging in actions, making efforts, and persistently driving towards the fulfillment of a particular aim or ambition. Pursuing something requires determination, focus, and a willingness to overcome obstacles or challenges in order to attain success or attain the desired result.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pursueverb

    to follow with a view to overtake; to follow eagerly, or with haste; to chase; as, to pursue a hare

  2. Pursueverb

    to seek; to use or adopt measures to obtain; as, to pursue a remedy at law

  3. Pursueverb

    to proceed along, with a view to some and or object; to follow; to go in; as, Captain Cook pursued a new route; the administration pursued a wise course

  4. Pursueverb

    to prosecute; to be engaged in; to continue

  5. Pursueverb

    to follow as an example; to imitate

  6. Pursueverb

    to follow with enmity; to persecute; to call to account

  7. Pursueverb

    to go in pursuit; to follow

  8. Pursueverb

    to go on; to proceed, especially in argument or discourse; to continue

  9. Pursueverb

    to follow a matter judicially, as a complaining party; to act as a prosecutor

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pursue

    pur-sū′, v.t. to follow after in order to overtake: to follow with haste: to chase: to follow up: to be engaged in: to carry on: to seek to obtain: to seek to injure: to imitate: to continue.—v.i. to follow: to go on or continue: to act as a prosecutor at law.—n. (Spens.) pursuit.—adj. Pursū′able.—n. Pursū′ance, the act of pursuing or following out: process: consequence.—adj. Pursū′ant, done while pursuing or seeking any purpose, hence agreeable.—adv. agreeably: conformably—also Pursū′antly.—n. Pursū′er, one who pursues: (Scots law) a plaintiff. [O. Fr. porsuir (Fr. poursuivre)—L. prosequi, -secutuspro, onwards, sequi, to follow.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pursue' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4672

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pursue' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4153

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'pursue' in Verbs Frequency: #425

How to pronounce pursue?

How to say pursue in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pursue in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pursue in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of pursue in a Sentence

  1. John Dryden:

    Look around the habitable world, how few Know their own good, or knowing it, pursue.

  2. Mayim Bialik:

    There’s kind of two sets of opinions on if Amy were to date -- which way we should go, some people think we should go super hunky, really against type from what Sheldon is and from what we think of Amy, but part of me also feels like it's OK to keep it a little bit real in that someone like Amy probably would pursue someone — not that attractive people can't be intellectual — but pursue someone in her field, who generally speaking, might not be that concerned with appearance. Mayim Bialik added with laughs.

  3. Ben Franklin:

    The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

  4. Oliver Wendell Holmes:

    If I were dying, my last words would be, Have faith and pursue the unknown end.

  5. Dwight D Eisenhower:

    I could have spoken from Rhode Island where I have been staying ... But I felt that, in speaking from the house of Lincoln, of Jackson, and of Wilson, my words would better convey both the sadness I feel in the action I was compelled today to make and the firmness with which I intend to pursue this course until the orders of the federal court at Little Rock can be executed without unlawful interference. (On sending troops to enforce integration in Little Rock AR High School)

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Translations for pursue

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"pursue." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pursue>.

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1 Comment
  • Dimna Valentin Castro
    Dimna Valentin Castro
    LikeReply 26 years ago
    • Aviv Ben Efraim
      Aviv Ben Efraim
      LikeReply6 years ago

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