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From Old French ensu- [1], stem of some conjugated forms of ensivre (follow close upon, come afterward) (French ensuivre), from Latin īnsequere, from īnsequi (to pursue, follow, follow after; come next), from in- (upon) (see in-) + sequi (follow) (see sequel).



ensue (third-person singular simple present ensues, present participle ensuing, simple past and past participle ensued)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To follow (a leader, inclination etc.). [15th-17th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.ii:
      to ripenesse of mans state they grew: / Then shewing forth signes of their fathers blood, / They loued armes, and knighthood did ensew, / Seeking aduentures [...].
    • 1606, Justine, G. W. (translator), The Historie of Justine
      To ensue his example in doynge the like mischiefe.
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To follow (in time), to be subsequent to. [15th-17th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, III.11:
      Oh how many changes are like to ensue this reformation!
  3. (intransitive) To occur afterwards, as a result or effect. [from 16th c.]
    Give three freshmen six bottles of wine, and hilarity will ensue.


Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021), “ensue”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.