fol‧low S1 W1
to go, walk, drive etc behind or after someone else:
go after[intransitive and transitive]
Are those men following us?
The patrol car followed the BMW for a few miles and then lost it.
Tom's already gone out to Rome and his wife and children will follow shortly.
follow somebody into/to etc something
Peggy followed her out onto the landing.
to happen or do something after something else: ➔ following3
happen after[intransitive and transitive]
The agreement followed months of negotiation.
The assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 was followed by that of Robert Kennedy.
there follows something
After weeks of intense fighting, there followed a brief period of calm.
Most EU countries have signed the agreement and the US is expected to follow shortly (=soon).
to come directly after something else in a series, list, or order:
come after[intransitive and transitive]
The chapters that follow deal mainly with mathematics.
In English, the letter Q is always followed by U.
We had vegetable casserole with a fruit salad to follow (=as part of a meal).
there follows something
There followed several pages of incomprehensible statistics.
used to introduce a list of things that you will mention next:
The winners are as follows: in third place, Mandy Johnson; in second place ...
to do something in the way that someone has told or advised you to do it:
do what somebody says[transitive]
He followed the doctor's advice and had no further trouble.
Follow the instructions very carefully when filling in the form.
They followed the plan that Elizabeth had worked out.
to go somewhere by a particular way according to road signs or to what someone has told you:
Just follow the signs for the airport.
I followed Brown's directions and found the farm quite easily.
to do the same thing as someone else:
do the same thing[intransitive and transitive]
Some state schools follow the example of private schools in asking parents to donate money.
Environmentalists are urging the government to follow the lead of Scandinavian countries in this matter.
She's just like any young woman who enjoys following the latest fashions (=wearing fashionable clothes).
follow somebody into something (=do the same job as someone else)
He does not want to follow his father into a scientific career.
to believe in and obey a particular set of religious or political ideas
believe in something[transitive]RR
go in particular direction[transitive]
to continue along a particular road, river etc:
I followed the main road up the mountain.
Tom followed the track that leads to the old Roman road.
to go in the same direction as something else, or to go parallel to something else:
The road follows the line of the river.
to understand something such as an explanation or story [= grasp]:
understand[intransitive and transitive]
I didn't quite follow what he was saying.
easy/difficult/hard etc to follow
The plot is a little difficult to follow.
to be true as a result of something else that is true
be a result[intransitive]
The conclusion that follows from these findings is that inner city schools need more investment, not less.
It doesn't necessarily follow that you're going to do well academically even if you're highly intelligent.
to be interested in something and in the way it develops:
Have you been following that crime series on TV?
I've been following his progress very closely.
She just doesn't understand people who follow football or any other kind of sport.
to continue to happen or develop in a particular way, especially in a way that is expected:
In Australia, the weather follows a fairly predictable pattern.
to do the same as someone else has done:
Budget companies have been so successful that other airlines have had to follow suit and lower their fares.
to do the same job or to work or live in the same way as someone else before you, especially someone in your family:
He is a doctor and expects his son to follow in his footsteps.
to show or describe someone's life or a series of events, for example in a film or book:
The book follows the plight of an orphaned Irish girl who marries into New York society.
to be so good or successful at something that it will be difficult for the next person, team etc to be as good:
We're looking for a replacement for Sue, but she's going to be a hard act to follow.
to carefully watch someone do something:
She followed Simon with her eyes as he walked to the gate.
to study or think about a particular idea or subject and try to learn something from it:
It turned out we were both following the same line of research.
If you follow that idea to its logical conclusion, we'd have to ban free speech altogether.
to do the thing that you immediately feel is best without needing to stop and think about it
to do the same thing that most other people are doing, without really thinking about it for yourself - used in order to show disapproval
to go straight forward or continue in the same direction:
Just follow your nose until you come to a small bridge.
to go to the place from where there is a particular smell coming:
I followed my nose to the kitchen, where Marcie was making coffee.
to do something in the way that you feel is right:
After a few years in the detective game, you learn to follow your nose.
to do a particular job or have a particular way of life
follow somebody aroundphrasal verb
She told him to go away and stop following her around.
follow onphrasal verb
to happen after something else and be connected with it [↪ follow-on]
follow on from
The discussion sessions are supposed to follow on from this morning's lecture.
to go to the same place as someone else at a later time:
You go ahead - I'll follow on later.
follow throughphrasal verb
to do what needs to be done to complete something or make it successful:
The project went wrong when the staff failed to follow through.
follow something ↔ through
If you have followed through all the exercises in this book, you should be ready for the second year course.
to continue moving your arm after you have hit the ball in tennis, golf etc [↪ follow-through]
follow something ↔ upphrasal verb
to find out more information about something and take action if necessary:
The police take people's statements and then follow them up.
to do something in addition to what you have already done in order to make it more likely to succeed
follow something ↔ up with
If there is no response to your press release, follow it up with a phone call.
This experiment was quickly followed up by others using different forms of the drug.