follow Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “follow” in the English Dictionary

"follow" in British English

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followverb

uk   /ˈfɒl.əʊ/  us   /ˈfɑː.loʊ/
  • follow verb (GO)

A2 [I or T] to ​move behind someone or something and go where he, she, or it goes: A ​dog followed us ​home. She followed me into the ​kitchen. He had the ​feeling he was being followed (= someone was going after him to ​catch him or ​see where he was going). I could ​feel them following me with ​theireyes (= ​watching my ​movementsclosely). Do ​your own thing, don't just follow the ​crowd (= do what everyone ​else does). [T] to go in the same ​direction as a ​road, ​path, etc.: Follow the ​road for two ​miles, then ​turnleft.follow suit C2 to do the same thing as someone ​else: When one ​airlinereducesitsprices, the ​restsoon follow ​suit.

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  • follow verb (HAPPEN)

B1 [I or T] to ​happen or come after something: We were not ​prepared for the ​events that followed (= ​happened next). The ​book was ​deliveredyesterday with a ​note saying the ​bill for it would follow in a ​day or two. The ​meal consisted of ​spinachsalad, followed by ​roastchicken (= with this as the next ​part). She ​published a ​book of ​poems and followed it (up) with (= next ​produced) a ​novel.as follows B2 said to ​introduce a ​list of things: The ​winners are as follows - Woods, Smith, and Cassidy.

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  • follow verb (OBEY)

B1 [T] to ​obey or to ​act as ​ordered by someone: Follow the instructions on the back of the ​packetcarefully. I ​decided to follow her advice and go to ​bed early. Muslims follow the teachings of the Koran.

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  • follow verb (HAVE INTEREST IN)

C1 [T] to have a ​greatinterest in something or ​watch something ​closely: He follows most ​sportsavidly. They followed her ​academicprogressclosely.

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  • follow verb (BE RESULT)

C2 [not continuous] to ​happen as a ​result, or to be a ​likelyresult: [+ that] Just because I ​agreed last ​time, it doesn't necessarily follow that I will again.

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  • follow verb (READ)

[T] to ​read the ​notes or words of a ​piece of ​music or writing at the same ​time as they are being ​played or said
  • follow verb (SOCIAL MEDIA)

[T] If you follow a ​particularperson on a socialmediawebsite (= a ​website where ​people can ​publishtheirthoughts, ​photographs, ​information about themselves etc.), you ​choose to ​see everything that ​person posts (= ​publishes) on the ​website.
(Definition of follow from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"follow" in American English

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followverb

 us   /ˈfɑl·oʊ/
  • follow verb (MOVE AFTER)

[I/T] to move along after someone or something, or to move along a ​route or ​path: [T] The ​dog followed us ​home. [I] He ​droveahead and we followed in ​our own ​car. [T] Follow this ​road for the next two ​miles. [I/T] To follow someone is also to move along after a ​person in ​order to ​watch where that ​person is going: [T] She had the ​feeling she was being followed.
  • follow verb (HAPPEN AFTER)

[I/T] to ​happen after something ​else in ​order or ​time: [I] We were not ​prepared for what followed. [T] A ​reception will follow the ​meeting, so ​pleasestay.
  • follow verb (OBEY)

[T] to ​obey someone, or to ​actaccording to something: Follow the ​instructions in taking the ​medicine. I ​decided to follow her ​advice. If you follow the ​signs, you will have no ​troublefinding the ​airport.
  • follow verb (UNDERSTAND)

[T] to ​understand: He ​spoke so ​rapidly we could ​hardly follow what he said.
  • follow verb (INTERESTED IN)

[T] to be ​activelyinterested in something, or to give ​yourattention to something: Do you follow ​football? We’ve followed her ​politicalcareer for many ​years.
  • follow verb (BE RESULT)

[I] to ​happen as a ​result, or to be a ​likelyresult: [+ that clause] Fuel ​prices for ​transportinggoods have ​increased, so it would follow that those ​prices are getting ​passed on to ​customers.
(Definition of follow from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"follow" in Business English

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followverb

uk   us   /ˈfɒləʊ/
[I or T] to ​happen or come after something: More ​mergers are likely to follow. October's ​increase followed a 1.6% ​rise in ​output in September. The ​bondsrecovered after some ​initialselling following ​news of the ​proposedmerger. Government macro-economic ​policy encouraged a ​consumerboom followed by a ​deeprecession.
[T] to obey ​instructions or to do something according to a ​plan or someone's ​advice: The ​shelves are ​easy to ​assemble if you follow the instructions carefully.follow orders/advice By following our ​advice, ​clients should ​save at least £770 a ​year.follow a policy/a procedure/guidelines At the ​enquiry into the ​crash, the ​airline said that ​normalprocedure had been followed.
[T] to watch something closely to see how it develops: He ​works for a ​group of Wall Street ​analysts who follow ​internetstocks closely.
[I or T] to do the same thing as someone: They were the first to ​introduceonlineordering, but other ​companies have been quick to follow.follow sb's example/lead When the ​company announces its ​priceincreases, many of its ​competitors are expected to follow its ​lead.
[I] (also follow on) to be ​sent or ​paid at a later ​date: Your ​bankcard will arrive first, and the ​PINnumber will follow, in a ​separateenvelope.
as follows used to ​introduce a ​list of things: Our ​mainaims are as follows: 1. ​efficiency 2. ​value for ​money 3. ​quality.
follow a career, occupation, trade, etc. to do a particular ​job: The ​company has an ​open door ​policy to ​matureentrants who have followed alternative ​career paths.
follow suit to do the same as someone else: We expect that ​fundmanagers will take a ​lead by coming out in favour of one of the ​banks, at which ​point undecided ​investors will follow ​suit.
(Definition of follow from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“follow” in Business English

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