verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to carry out fully, as a stroke of a club in golf, a racket in tennis, etc.
- to continue an effort, plan, proposal, policy, etc., to its completion.
- to pursue closely and tenaciously.
- to increase the effectiveness of by further action or repetition.
- to pursue to a solution or conclusion.
- follow along,
- follow in someone's footsteps,
- follow one's nose,
- follow out,
- follow shot
Origin of follow
- to play a card of the same suit as the card played immediately before it
- to do the same as someone else
- a forward spin imparted to a cue ball causing it to roll after the object ball
- a shot made in this way
Word Origin for follow
Old English folgian, fylgan "follow, accompany; follow after, pursue," also "obey, apply oneself to a practice or calling," from West Germanic *fulg- (cf. Old Saxon folgon, Old Frisian folgia, Middle Dutch volghen, Dutch volgen, Old High German folgen, German folgen, Old Norse fylgja "to follow").
Probably originally a compound, *full-gan with a sense of "full-going;" the sense then shifting to "serve, go with as an attendant" (cf. fulfill). Related: Followed; following. To follow one's nose "go straight on" first attested 1590s. "The full phrase is, 'Follow your nose, and you are sure to go straight.' " [Farmer].
Bring to a conclusion, carry out. For example, The second volume simply followed out the theories presented in the first, or He instructed them to follow out their orders to the letter. This idiom is dying out. [Mid-1700s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with follow
- follow along
- follow in someone's footsteps
- follow one's nose
- follow out
- follow suit
- follow the crowd
- follow through
- follow up
- as follows
- camp follower
- hard act to follow