verb (used with object), pur·sued, pur·su·ing.

verb (used without object), pur·sued, pur·su·ing.

to chase after someone or something; to follow in pursuit: They spotted the suspect but decided not to pursue.
to continue.

Origin of pursue

1250–1300; Middle English pursuen < Anglo-French pursuerLatin prōsequī to pursue, follow, continue. See pro-1, sue, prosecute
Related formspur·su·a·ble, adjectiveout·pur·sue, verb (used with object), out·pur·sued, out·pur·su·ing.re·pur·sue, verb (used with object), re·pur·sued, re·pur·su·ing.un·pur·su·a·ble, adjectiveun·pur·sued, adjectiveun·pur·su·ing, adjective
Can be confusedperuse pursue

Synonyms for pursue

1. trail, hunt. 2. dog.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pursues

Contemporary Examples of pursues

Historical Examples of pursues

  • No, but ever pursues the same old round, the same pitiful circle.

  • The other pursues, with buttons on his javelins and his lance similarly handled.

  • It has color, is a living thing, the thin wraith that pursues man ever to his grave.


    James Huneker

  • He pursues tired or wounded animals whom he meets, and easily masters them.

  • In South Africa he pursues every snake, even the most venomous.

British Dictionary definitions for pursues


verb -sues, -suing or -sued (mainly tr)

(also intr) to follow (a fugitive, etc) in order to capture or overtake
(esp of something bad or unlucky) to follow closely or accompanyill health pursued her
to seek or strive to attain (some object, desire, etc)
to follow the precepts of (a plan, policy, etc)
to apply oneself to (one's studies, hobbies, etc)
to follow persistently or seek to become acquainted with
to continue to discuss or argue (a point, subject, etc)
Derived Formspursuer, noun

Word Origin for pursue

C13: from Anglo-Norman pursiwer, from Old French poursivre, from Latin prōsequī to follow after
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

Word Origin and History for pursues



late 13c., "to follow with hostile intent," from Anglo-French pursuer and directly from Old French poursuir (Modern French poursuivre), variant of porsivre "to chase, pursue, follow; continue, carry on," from Vulgar Latin *prosequare, from Latin prosequi "follow, accompany, attend; follow after, escort; follow up, pursue," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + sequi "follow" (see sequel). Meaning "to proceed, to follow" (a path, etc.), usually figurative (a course of action, etc.), is from late 14c. This sense also was in Latin. Related: Pursued; pursuing. For sense, cf. prosecute.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper