follow


follow
follow vb 1 Follow, succeed, ensue, supervene mean to come after someone or, more often, something. Although all of these verbs occur as transitives and intransitives, ensue and supervene are more commonly intransitive verbs.
Follow is the general term and may imply a coming after in time, in sequence, in pursuit (see FOLLOW, 2), in logic, or in understanding
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the singing of "America" by the audience will follow the introductory prayer

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Queen Victoria followed William IV as British sovereign

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the driving force in education should be the pupil's wish to learn, not the master's authority; but it does not follow that education should be soft and easy and pleasant at every stage— Russell

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Succeed commonly implies an order (as one determined by descent, inheritance, election, or rank) by which one person or thing comes after another
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son succeeded father as head of the business for many generations

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the eldest son succeeds to the title

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the person who will succeed the late congressman will be appointed by the governor of the state

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Succeed is often used when the idea of a fixed order is lost, but it still usually retains the idea of taking the place of someone or something
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the link dissolves, each seeks a fresh embrace, another love succeeds, another racePope

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the anxieties of common life began soon to succeed to the alarms of romance— Austen

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simplicity of concept succeeds complexity of calculation— Bell

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Ensue usually implies some logical connection or the operation of some such principle of sequence as that of necessity
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that such a consequence . . . should ensue . . . was far enough from my thoughts— Austen

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each knowing the other, a conversation ensues under the hypothesis that each to the other is unknown ... a very silly source of equivoque— Poe

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Supervene suggests a following by something added or conjoined and often unforeseen or unpredictable
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two worlds, two antagonistic ideals, here in evidence before him. Could a third condition supervene, to mend their discord?— Pater

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it was not acute rheumatism, but a supervening pericarditis that . . . killed her— Bennett

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it is in the philosophy that supervened upon the popular creed . . . that we shall find the highest . . . reaches of their thought— Dickinsony

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2 Follow, pursue, chase, trail, tag, tail are comparable when meaning to go immediately or shortly after someone or something.
Follow is the comprehensive term; it usually implies the lead or, sometimes, guidance of someone or something
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the detective followed the boys to their hiding place

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hangers-on who follow the circus

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the vengeance that follows crime— Dickinsony

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follow up a clue

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follow a trade

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he should not desire to steer his own course, but follow the line that the talk happens to take— Benson

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not one of the many people I know who followed the hearings thought that the television reporting was slanted or unfair— Seldes

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Pursue in its earliest sense implies a following as an enemy or hunter
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pursue a fox

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pursuing rebels in flight

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pursue happiness

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The term therefore usually suggests an attempt to overtake, to reach, or to attain, and commonly in its extended senses, even when the implications of hostility or of a desire to capture are absent, it connotes eagerness, persistence, or inflexibility of purpose in following one's thoughts, ends, or desires
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ye who . . . pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope— Johnson

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thrice happy man! enabled to pursue what all so wish, but want the pow'r to do!— Popey

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pursuing the game of high ambition with a masterly coolness— Buchany

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pursue the career of a diplomat

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Chase implies fast pursuit in order to or as if to catch a fleeing object or to drive away or turn to flight an oncoming thing
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chase the fleeing thieves

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the boys chased the intruder out of the school yard

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we were chased by two pirates, who soon overtook us— Swift

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if to dance all night, and dress all day . . . chased old age away . . . who would learn one earthly thing of use?— Pope

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Trail implies a following in someone's tracks
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trail a fugitive to his hiding place

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trail a lost child to the edge of a creek

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not daring to accost him . . . she had trailed him to the railroad station— Chidsey

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Tag implies a persistent, annoying following or accompanying
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complained that his little sister was always tagging after him

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two unarmed launches tagged behind— Millard

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Tail specifically implies close following and surveillance
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he employed detectives to tail the suspect

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Analogous words: attend, *accompany, convoy: *copy, imitate, ape: *practice, exercise
Antonyms: precede (in order): forsake (a teacher or his teachings)
Contrasted words: lead, *guide, pilot, steer: elude, evade, *escape: desert, *abandon

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • follow — [ˈfɒləʊ ǁ ˈfɑːloʊ] verb 1. [intransitive, transitive] to come or happen afterwards: • The company s decision to diversify follows a sharp decline in demand for its products. • As the recession worsened, further closures followed. 2.… …   Financial and business terms

  • Follow-on — is a term used in the sport of cricket to describe a situation where the team that bats second is forced to take its second batting innings immediately after its first, because the team was not able to get close enough (within 200 runs) to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Follow — Fol low, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Followed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Following}.][OE. foluwen, folwen, folgen, AS. folgian, fylgean, fylgan; akin to D. volgen, OHG. folg[=e]n, G. folgen, Icel. fylgja, Sw. f[ o]lja, Dan. f[ o]lge, and perh. to E. folk.] 1.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • follow — [fäl′ō] vt. [ME folwen < OE folgian, akin to Ger folgen & (?) Welsh olafiad, follower] 1. to come or go after 2. to go after in order to catch; chase; pursue 3. to go along [follow the right road] 4. to come or occur after in time, in a series …   English World dictionary

  • follow-up — follow up1 adj [only before noun] done in order to find out more or do more about something →↑follow up ▪ a follow up study on children and poverty follow up 2 follow up2 n 1.) [U and C] something that is done to make sure that earlier actions… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • follow — ► VERB 1) move or travel behind. 2) go after (someone) so as to observe or monitor them. 3) go along (a route or path). 4) come after in time or order. 5) be a logical consequence. 6) (also follow on from) occur as a result of …   English terms dictionary

  • follow-up — follow ,up noun 1. ) count or uncount something that is done in order to complete something: Everyone liked my proposal, but there hasn t been any follow up. The researchers conducted a follow up study two years later. a ) something that is done… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • follow-up — n. 1. a second (or subsequent) action to increase the effectiveness of an initial action. Also used attributively; as a follow up visit. Note: A follow up may be of various types. After a medical examination, a second examination (or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • follow — fol·low vt: to be in accordance with (a prior decision): accept as authoritative see also precedent compare overrule Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • follow — (v.) O.E. folgian, fylgan follow, accompany; follow after, pursue, also obey, apply oneself to a practice or calling, from W.Gmc. *fulg (Cf. O.S. folgon, O.Fris. folgia, M.Du. volghen, Du. volgen, O.H.G. folgen, Ger. folgen, O.N. fylgja to follow …   Etymology dictionary


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