[ fol-oh ]
See synonyms for: followfollowedfollowingfollows on

verb (used with object)
  1. to come after in sequence, order of time, etc.: The speech follows the dinner.

  2. to go or come after; move behind in the same direction: Drive ahead, and I'll follow you.

  1. to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to: Many Germans followed Hitler.

  2. to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey: to follow orders; to follow advice.

  3. to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar: They follow the latest fads.

  4. to move forward along (a road, path, etc.): Follow this road for a mile.

  5. to come after as a result or consequence; result from: Reprisals often follow victory.

  6. to go after or along with (a person) as companion.

  7. to go in pursuit of: to follow an enemy.

  8. to try for or attain to: to follow an ideal.

  9. to engage in or be concerned with as a pursuit: He followed the sea as his true calling.

  10. to watch the movements, progress, or course of: to follow a bird in flight.

  11. to watch the development of or keep up with: to follow the news.

  12. Digital Technology. to indicate interest in and establish a connection with (a social media account) so as to keep up with the online content it publishes, as posts, images, or videos: I follow my friends and some celebrities on Twitter, but nobody who tweets political stuff.

  13. to keep up with and understand (an argument, story, etc.):Do you follow me?

verb (used without object)
  1. to come next after something else in sequence, order of time, etc.

  2. to happen or occur after something else; come next as an event: After the defeat great disorder followed.

  1. to attend or serve.

  2. to go or come after a person or thing in motion.

  3. to result as an effect; occur as a consequence: It follows then that he must be innocent.

  1. the act of following.

  2. Digital Technology. an instance of following or subscribing to online content published by a social media account: Using hashtags is one way to get more follows on Instagram.

  1. Digital Technology. noting or relating to a feature used to follow or subscribe to specific website content: a follow link;follow numbers and other digital marketing statistics.

Verb Phrases
  1. follow out, to carry to a conclusion; execute: They followed out their orders to the letter.

  2. follow through,

    • 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.

  1. follow up,

    • to pursue closely and tenaciously.

    • to increase the effectiveness of by further action or repetition.

    • to pursue to a solution or conclusion.

Idioms about follow

  1. follow suit. suit (def. 21).

Origin of follow

First recorded before 900; Middle English fol(o)wen, Old English folgian; cognate with Old Saxon folgōn, Old High German folgēn, folgōn (German folgen )

synonym study For follow

20. Follow, ensue, result, succeed imply coming after something else, in a natural sequence. Follow is the general word: We must wait to see what follows. A detailed account follows. Ensue implies a logical sequence, what might be expected normally to come after a given act, cause, etc.: When the power lines were cut, a paralysis of transportation ensued. Result emphasizes the connection between a cause or event and its effect, consequence, or outcome: The accident resulted in injuries to those involved. Succeed implies coming after in time, particularly coming into a title, office, etc.: Formerly the oldest son succeeded to his father's title.

Other words for follow

Opposites for follow

Other words from follow

  • fol·low·a·ble, adjective
  • un·fol·low·a·ble, adjective
  • un·fol·lowed, adjective
  • well-followed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use follow in a sentence

  • Undoubtedly Master Christopherus dreamed true to a certain point, but after that was not so followable!

    1492 | Mary Johnston
  • Their movements are followable, even if we cannot always understand them; daily bulletins are printed in the public Press.

British Dictionary definitions for follow


/ (ˈfɒləʊ) /

  1. to go or come after in the same direction: he followed his friend home

  2. (tr) to accompany; attend: she followed her sister everywhere

  1. to come after as a logical or natural consequence

  2. (tr) to keep to the course or track of: she followed the towpath

  3. (tr) to act in accordance with; obey: to follow instructions

  4. (tr) to accept the ideas or beliefs of (a previous authority, etc): he followed Donne in most of his teachings

  5. to understand (an explanation, argument, etc): the lesson was difficult to follow

  6. to watch closely or continuously: she followed his progress carefully

  7. (tr) to have a keen interest in: to follow athletics

  8. (tr) to help in the cause of or accept the leadership of: the men who followed Napoleon

  9. (tr) to choose to receive messages posted by (a blogger or microblogger): I've been following her online

  10. (tr) rare to earn a living at or in: to follow the Navy

  11. follow suit cards

    • to play a card of the same suit as the card played immediately before it

    • to do the same as someone else

  1. billiards snooker

    • a forward spin imparted to a cue ball causing it to roll after the object ball

    • a shot made in this way

Origin of follow

Old English folgian; related to Old Frisian folgia, Old Saxon folgōn, Old High German folgēn

Derived forms of follow

  • followable, adjective

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


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

also see:

  • as follows
  • camp follower
  • hard act to follow

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