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Follow

The word follow is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

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Definition of the verb follow

What does follow mean as a doing word?

Follow is one of the top 50 most common verbs. It is used mostly in writing, being one of the top 50 most common verbs in written English.View more statistics!

verb - inflections: followed | following | follows

  1. to travel behind, go after, come after
    • examples: The ducklings followed their mother around the pond | Please follow the guide through the museum | They follow the car down the avenue | Sam cannot follow Sue
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme]Jackie accompanied Rose | Jackie chased the thief
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Spatial Preposition] [Location]Jackie chased the thief down the street
      [Agent - being] [Verb] after [Theme]Jackie chased after the thief

      Verbs of Motion (with the same syntax): chase, pursue, shadow, tail, track, trail.

    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • antonym: precede
    • more generic words: go / locomote / move / travel = change location
    • more specific terms:
      • fall behind / fall back / dawdle / lag = hang (back) or fall (behind) in movement, progress, development, etc.
      • tailgate = follow at a dangerously close distance
      • shadow = follow, usually without the person's knowledge
      • carry = pursue a line of scent or be a bearer
  2. be later in time
    • example: Tuesday always follows Monday
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • synonym of follow: postdate
  3. come as a logical consequence; follow logically
    • example: It follows that your assertion is false
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • synonym of follow: fall out
    • more generic words: ensue / result = issue or terminate
  4. travel along a certain course
    • examples: follow the road | follow the trail
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • synonym of follow: travel along
    • more generic words: go / locomote / move / travel = change location
    • more specific words:
      • heel = follow at the heels of a person
      • ascend = go along towards (a river's) source
  5. act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
  6. come after in time, as a result
    • example: A terrible tsunami followed the earthquake
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • synonym of follow: come after
    • more generic words: ensue / result = issue or terminate
  7. behave in accordance or in agreement with
    • examples: Follow a pattern | Follow my example
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonym of follow: conform to
    • more generic words: copy / imitate / simulate = reproduce someone's behavior or looks
    • more specific term: go by = be or act in accordance with
  8. be next
    • example: Mary plays best, with John and Sue following
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • more generic word: be = occupy a certain position or area
  9. choose and follow; as of theories, ideas, policies, strategies or plans
    • example: She followed the feminist movement
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • synonyms of follow: adopt / espouse
    • more generic terms: choose / pick out / select / take = pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives
    • more specific words: adhere / stick = be a devoted follower or supporter
  10. to bring something about at a later time than
    • examples: She followed dinner with a brandy | He followed his lecture with a question and answer period
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
  11. imitate in behavior; take as a model
    • examples: Teenagers follow their friends in everything | Sam cannot follow Sue
    • lexical domain: Creation - verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing
    • synonym of follow: take after
    • more generic words: copy / imitate / simulate = reproduce someone's behavior or looks
  12. follow, discover, or ascertain the course of development of something
    • example: We must follow closely the economic development is Cuba
    • lexical domain: Cognition - verbs of thinking, judging, analyzing, doubting
    • synonym of follow: trace
    • more generic words: analyse / analyze / canvass / examine / study = consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning
  13. follow with the eyes or the mind
  14. be the successor (of)
  15. perform an accompaniment to
    • example: The orchestra could barely follow the frequent pitch changes of the soprano
    • domain: music
    • lexical domain: Creation - verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing
    • synonyms of follow: accompany / play along
    • more generic word: play = play on an instrument
  16. keep informed
  17. to be the product or result
  18. accept and follow the leadership or command or guidance of
    • examples: Let's follow our great helmsman! | She followed a guru for years
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • more generic words: act / behave / do = behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior
  19. adhere to or practice
    • example: These people still follow the laws of their ancient religion
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • more generic words: apply / practice / use = avail oneself to
  20. work in a specific place, with a specific subject, or in a specific function
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • synonym of follow: be
    • more specific words:
      • vet = work as a veterinarian
      • cox = act as the coxswain, in a boat race
  21. keep under surveillance
    • examples: The police had been following him for weeks but they could not prove his involvement in the bombing | They want to follow the prisoners
    • lexical domain: Perceptions - verbs of seeing, hearing, feeling
    • synonyms of follow: surveil / survey
  22. follow in or as if in pursuit
    • examples: Her bad deed followed her and haunted her dreams all her life | They follow the car down the avenue
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • synonym of follow: pursue
    • more generic words: go / locomote / move / travel = change location
    • more specific terms:
  23. grasp the meaning
    • examples: Can you follow her argument? | When he lectures, I cannot follow | Sam and Sue follow the movie
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition]I understand the problem
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition] as [Predicate]I understood it as a joke
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition, arbitrary control with -ing]I understand wanting more
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition, how-extraction]I understand how she did it
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition, possessive with -ing]I understand their wanting more minutes
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition, that-complement clause]I understand that he is a good doctor
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition, to be]I understand him to be a good doctor
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition, wh-complement clause]I understand why we should help them
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition, wh-infinitive clause]I understand how to do it
      [Experiencer - being or organization] [Verb] [Proposition, what-extraction]I understand what we should do

      Verbs of Comprehending (with the same syntax): apprehend, comprehend, fathom, grasp, understand.

    • lexical domain: Cognition - verbs of thinking, judging, analyzing, doubting
    • more generic word: understand = know and comprehend the nature or meaning of
  24. keep to

Alternative definition of the verb follow

verb

  1. [transitive] To go or come after in physical space.
  2. [transitive] To go or come after in a sequence.
  3. [transitive] To carry out in accordance to (orders, instructions, etc).
  4. [transitive] To live one's life according to (religion, teachings, etc).
  5. [transitive] To understand, to pay attention to.
  6. [transitive] To watch, to keep track of (reports of) some event or person.
  7. [transitive] To be a logical consequence of.

Films

  1. "Follow" is a 2013 comedy/drama film presented in 10 segments each written and directed by a different person.
  2. "Follow" is a short film, directed by Sean Michael Turrell.
    • country: Canada
    • released in
  3. "Follow" is a 2014 film directed by Max Price.
    • released in

Music

  1. "Follow" is a musical album of God's Bow.
    • released on (7 years ago)
  2. "Follow" is a musical album of Travis & Fripp, Robert Fripp, Theo Travis.
    • released on
  3. "Follow" is a musical album of Steve Grace.
    • released in (15 years ago)
  4. "Follow" is a musical album of Abe Diddy & The Krautboys.
    • released on
  5. "Follow" is a musical single of Pull in Emergency.
    • released on (6 years ago)
  6. "Follow" is a musical album of Johnny Cooper.
    • released on (5 years ago)

Miscellanea

Follow is a cataloged instance, musical recording, canonical version.

Phrases with Follow

Phrases starting with the word Follow:

  1. Follow'd
  2. Follow On
  3. follow up
  4. follow-on
  5. follow-up
  6. follow out
  7. follow suit
  8. follow up on
  9. Follow for Now
  10. follow through
  11. follow-through
  12. Follow-the-Leader
  13. Follow One's Bliss
  14. Follow Somebody Off a Cliff
  15. Follow in Someone's Footsteps

Phrase ending with the word Follow:

  1. Soon to Follow

Other phrases containing the word Follow:

  1. to follow up
  2. to follow suit
  3. The Husband That Is Necessary to Follow (film)

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Follow

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewIntonation and Its Uses (1989)

Melody in Grammar and Discourse by Dwight Bolinger, Dwight Le Merton Bolinger

accented follow is the substance of the directions. Though...

clause should be expressible with which, and this one is not: Helen left directions which George was to follow is a paraphrase of (184) (with a shift of emphasis), not of ( 185).

Google previewBell Telephone News (1912)

“There is a great deal more danger of the average man under-eating than over- eating, and a good rule to follow is that a little too much of good food is just enough. The human stomach is geared for a continuous performance.” “In our first ...

Google previewBusiness Aspects of Optometry (2004)

Association of Practice Management Educators by APME, John G. Classe, Lawrence S. Thal, Roger D. Kamen, Ronald S. Rounds

A good model to follow is the 10-step quality assurance plan proposed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), commonly known as the Joint Commission. Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission is an ...

Google previewKinetic Theory in the Expanding Universe (2004)

by Jeremy Bernstein

The treatment we will follow is the one given in Bernstein, Brown, and Feinberg ( 1985). A related and independent treatment can be found in Scherrer and Turner (1986). The first example we will study is the original Lee—Weinberg problem ...

Google previewPrinciples of Package Development (2012)

by Roger C. Griffin

A basic consideration to follow is that in nations having bright sunlight, colors should be strong. Under the influence of tropical light, pastel shades tend to appear old and musty. This fact can and should be considered when using a color for a ...

Google previewThe Healthiest You (2011)

Take Charge of Your Brain to Take Charge of Your L by Kelly Traver, Betty Kelly Sargent

The general guideline to follow is that you should try to maintain ...

Google previewThe Complete Chile Pepper Book (2009)

A Gardener's Guide to Choosing, Growing, Preserving, and Cooking by Dave DeWitt, Paul W. Bosland

A good rule to follow is that if the pod comes off the stem easily, the chile is ready. If you have to tug on the pod, it is too early to pick it. The small chiles do not have to be peeled or processed in any way before being used. They can be picked, ...

Google previewThe British encyclopedia, or, Dictionary of arts and sciences (1809)

by William Nicholson

The muriatic, oxy- muriatic, and nitro-inuriatic follow the same order. Boracic Acid. Lime Barytes Strontian Magnesia Potash Soda ...

Google previewThe British Encyclopedia (1809)

Or, Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. Comprising an Accurate and Popular View of the Present Improved State of Human Knowledge by William Nicholson

The Alcohol Alcohol citric and ben-Alcohos Alcohol carbonic acid ———|zoic follow the-l follows , the N. B. The N. B. The same order, ex- ...

Google previewDictionary of Upriver Halkomelem (2009)

by Brent Douglas Galloway

follow after, coming behind (the one ahead knows):: chokwelélqem < ch6:kw. follow behind s-o, trail ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Practical and Theoretical Chemistry (1808)

With Its Application to the Arts and Manufactures, and to the Explanation of the Phaenomena of Nature... : with Plates and Tables by William Nicholson

The citric and benzoic follow the same order , except that lime should come before...

The muriatic, oxy- muriatir, and nitro-muriatic follow the same order.

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Follow

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Usage statistics about follow

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the verb follow:

spoken English21.24%written English78.76% conversational speech22.31%task-oriented speech77.69% imaginative writing39.93%informational writing60.07%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb follow:

espousesurveycomplytracepursueaccompanysucceedobserveadoptwatchfollowcomebe

Comparison of usage frequency between the verb follow and its most common antonym:

precedefollow

Photos about Follow

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follow

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Follow Us Sharing Social Media Networking Internet Online ConceptSmall photo of Follow Us Sharing Social Media Networking Internet Online ConceptSmall photo of Sticky note with FOLLOW US wording on glass of tea with laptop on wooden table. Motivation and positive wishes conceptSmall photo of Hand with marker writing: Follow UsSmall photo of Follow us Social Media Connection Followers ConceptSmall photo of Woman wanting her man to follow her in vacation or honeymoon to beach by the oceanSmall photo of Follow us follower followers fans likes social networking business media internet desk computer keyboard More...

Video language resources about Follow

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View more videos about Follow On, Follow Up, follow the, Follow suit, Follow Through, and Soon to Follow.

See also the pronunciation examples of Follow!

Sign language

Sign Language practice Video for Melly to follow

Quotes about Follow

If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane. (Robert G. Ingersoll)
more quotes about follow...

Scrabble value of F4O1L1L1O1W4

The value of this 6-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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