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From Middle English folwen, folgen from Old English folġian, fylgan 'to follow, pursue', from Proto-Germanic *fulgijaną. Compare West Frisian folgje, Dutch volgen, German folgen, Danish følge, Swedish följa. More at folk. See also full.



follow (third-person singular simple present follows, present participle following, simple past and past participle followed)

  1. (transitive) To go after; to pursue; to move behind in the same path or direction.
    Follow that car!
  2. (transitive) To go or come after in a sequence.
    B follows A in the alphabet.
    We both ordered the soup, with roast beef to follow.
  3. (transitive) To carry out (orders, instructions, etc.).
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, The Celebrity:
      The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. [] Their example was followed by others at a time when the master of Mohair was superintending in person the docking of some two-year-olds, and equally invisible.
    Follow these instructions to the letter.
  4. (transitive) To live one's life according to (religion, teachings, etc).
  5. (transitive) To understand, to pay attention to.
    Do you follow me?
  6. (transitive) To watch, to keep track of (reports of) some event or person.
    I followed the incumbent throughout the election.
  7. (transitive) To be a logical consequence of.
    It follows that if two numbers are not equal then one is larger than the other.
  8. (transitive) To walk in, as a road or course; to attend upon closely, as a profession or calling.
    • Shakespeare
      O, had I but followed the arts!



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