Etymology: Middle English folwen, from Old English folgian; akin to Old High German folgēn to follow
Date: before 12th century
1. to go, proceed, or come after <followed the guide> 2. a. to engage in as a calling or way of life ; pursue <wheat-growing is generally followed here> b. to walk or proceed along <follow a path> 3. a. to be or act in accordance with <follow directions> b. to accept as authority ; obey <followed his conscience> 4. a. to pursue in an effort to overtake b. to seek to attain <follow knowledge> 5. to come into existence or take place as a result or consequence of <disaster followed the blunder> 6. a. to come or take place after in time, sequence, or order b. to cause to be followed <followed dinner with a liqueur> 7. to copy after ; imitate 8. a. to watch steadily <followed the flight of the ball> b. to keep the mind on <follow a speech> c. to attend closely to ; keep abreast of <followed his career with interest> d. to understand the sense or logic of (as a line of thought) intransitive verb 1. to go or come after a person or thing in place, time, or sequence 2. to result or occur as a consequence, effect, or inference Synonyms: follow, succeed, ensue, supervene mean to come after something or someone. follow may apply to a coming after in time, position, or logical sequence <speeches followed the dinner>. succeed implies a coming after immediately in a sequence determined by natural order, inheritance, election, or laws of rank <she succeeded her father as head of the business>. ensue commonly suggests a logical consequence or naturally expected development <after the talk a general discussion ensued>. supervene suggests the following or beginning of something unforeseen or unpredictable <unable to continue because of supervening circumstances>. Synonym: see in addition chase. II. noun Date: 1661 1. the act or process of following 2. forward spin given to a ball by striking it above center — compare draw, English
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.