[ fol-oh-uhp ]
See synonyms for follow-up on
  1. the act of following up.

  2. an action or thing that serves to increase the effectiveness of a previous one, as a second or subsequent letter, phone call, or visit.

  1. Also called follow. Journalism.

  1. designed or serving to follow up, especially to increase the effectiveness of a previous action: a follow-up interview; a follow-up offer.

  2. of or relating to action that follows an initial treatment, course of study, etc.: follow-up care for mental patients; a follow-up survey.

Origin of follow-up

First recorded in 1920–25; noun, adj. use of verb phrase follow up Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use follow-up in a sentence

  • It was not my good fortune to be allowed to follow up my plans, which almost warranted a certainty of success.

  • It was plain that Bruce would instantly follow up his victory, and already there was anxiety on the Border.

    King Robert the Bruce | A. F. Murison
  • I do not wonder you thought it worth your while to follow up the pair, if one of them is named Adams and the other Eva.

    The Circular Study | Anna Katharine Green
  • Old Max looked round triumphantly, and proceeded to follow up the impression thus made.

    A Charming Fellow, Volume II (of 3) | Frances Eleanor Trollope
  • Though the house was victorious, its dignity suffered so greatly in the conflict that it forbore to follow up its victory.

British Dictionary definitions for follow up

follow up

verb(tr, adverb)
  1. to pursue or investigate (a person, evidence, etc) closely

  2. to continue (action) after a beginning, esp to increase its effect

    • something done to reinforce an initial action

    • (as modifier): a follow-up letter

  1. med a routine examination of a patient at various intervals after medical or surgical treatment

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with follow-up


Carry to completion. For example, I'm following up their suggestions with concrete proposals. Also see follow through.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.