From Middle English folwen, folȝen, folgen, from Old English folgian (“to follow, pursue”), from Proto-West Germanic *folgēn, from Proto-Germanic *fulgāną (“to follow”).
follow (third-person singular simple present follows, present participle following, simple past and past participle followed)
- (transitive, intransitive) To go after; to pursue; to move behind in the same path or direction.
Follow that car!
She left the room and I followed.
- (transitive, intransitive) To go or come after in a sequence.
B follows A in the alphabet.
- We both ordered the soup, with roast beef to follow.
- (transitive) To carry out (orders, instructions, etc.).
Follow these instructions to the letter.
1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698, pages 58–59:
The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on a certain afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. […] Their example was followed by others at a time when the master of Mohair was superintending in person the docking of some two-year-olds, and equally invisible.
- (transitive) To live one's life according to (religion, teachings, etc).
- (transitive) To understand, to pay attention to.
Do you follow me?
- (transitive) To watch, to keep track of (reports of) some event or person.
I followed the incumbent throughout the election.
My friends don't regularly follow the news.
- (Internet, transitive) To subscribe to see content from an account on a social media platform.
If you want to see more of our articles, follow us on Twitter.
- (transitive, intransitive) To be a logical consequence of something.
It follows that if two numbers are not equal then one is larger than the other.
If you don't practise proper hygiene, illness is sure to follow.
- (transitive) To walk in, as a road or course; to attend upon closely, as a profession or calling.
c. 1601–1602, William Shakespeare, “Twelfe Night, or VVhat You VVill”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene iii], page 256, column 2:
O had I but followed the Arts.
to go or come after in physical space
- Ahom: 𑜋𑜨𑜪 (chom)
- Albanian: ndjek (sq)
- Arabic: تَبِعَ (tabiʿa), اِتَّبَعَ (ar) (ittabaʿa)
- Egyptian Arabic: يمشي ورا (yemši wara)
- Hijazi Arabic: لِحِق (liḥig)
- Armenian: հետևել (hetewel)
- Bulgarian: следвам (bg) impf (sledvam)
- Burmese: လိုက် (my) (luik)
- Catalan: seguir (ca)
- Cherokee: ᎠᏍᏓᏩᏕᎦ (asdawadega)
- Cantonese: 跟 (gan1), 跟埋 (gan1 maai4)
- Mandarin: 隨 (zh), 随 (zh) (suí); 跟隨 (zh), 跟随 (zh) (gēnsuí)
- Czech: sledovat (cs) impf
- Danish: følge
- Dutch: volgen (nl)
- Egyptian: (šms)
- Elfdalian: fya
- Esperanto: sekvi
- Estonian: jälitama (et)
- Faroese: fylgja
- Finnish: seurata (fi)
- French: suivre (fr)
- Galician: seguir (gl)
- Georgian: მიყოლა (miq̇ola), გაყოლა (gaq̇ola)
- German: folgen (de)
- Alemannic German: folge
- Gothic: 𐌻𐌰𐌹𐍃𐍄𐌾𐌰𐌽 (laistjan)
- Greek: ακολουθώ (el) (akolouthó)
- Ancient: ἕπομαι (hépomai), ἀκολουθέω (akolouthéō)
- Hebrew: עקב (he)
- Hiligaynon: ábat
- Hindi: पीछा करना (pīchā karnā)
- Hungarian: követ (hu)
- Icelandic: fylgja (is)
- Ido: sequar (io)
- Italian: seguire (it)
- Japanese: 付いて行く (ついていく, tsuite iku), 従う (ja) (shitagau)
- Khmer: តាម (km) (taam)
- Khün: ᨩᩬᨾ
- Korean: 따르다 (ko) (ttareuda)
- Ladino: סואִיב׳אר (swivar), סיגּיִיר, segyir
- Lao: ຕາມ (tām), ນຳ (nam), ທວຍ (thuāi), ຕວຍ (tuāi), ຊອມ (sǭm)
- Latgalian: saksteit
- Latin: sequor (la)
- Latvian: sekot
- Lithuanian: sekti (lt)
- Luxembourgish: follegen (lb)
- Lü: ᦋᦸᧄ (tsoam), ᦑᦽ (toy), ᦎᦱᧄ (ṫaam)
- Maori: aruaru, whai, whaiwhai pīhau (too closely - slang)
- Mongolian: дагах мөрдөх (dagakh mördökh)
- Mòcheno: volng
- Norman: siéthe (Jersey)
- North Frisian: fülie (Mooring dialect)
- Northern Sami: čuovvut
- Norwegian: følge (no)
- Occitan: seguir (oc)
- Old English: folgian
- Old Saxon: folgoian, folgon
- Persian: دنبال کردن (fa) (donbâl kardan)
- Polish: śledzić (pl) impf, iść za impf, pójść za pf
- Portuguese: seguir (pt)
- Quechua: qatiy (qu), gatii
- Romanian: urma (ro), urmări (ro)
- Romansch: suandar
- Russian: сле́довать (ru) impf (slédovatʹ), следи́ть (ru) impf (sledítʹ)
- Scots: follae
- Scottish Gaelic: lean
- Cyrillic: слије́дити impf, пра̏тити impf
- Roman: slijéditi (sh) impf, prȁtiti (sh) impf
- Shan: ၸွမ်း (shn) (tsóam)
- Slovene: slediti (sl) impf
- Spanish: seguir (es)
- Swahili: kufuata
- Swedish: följa (sv)
- Tai Dam: ꪕ꪿ꪮꪥ
- Tai Nüa: ᥓᥩᥛᥰ (tsöam)
- Telugu: వెంబడించు (te) (vembaḍiñcu)
- Thai: ตาม (th) (dtaam), ทยอย (th) (tá-yɔɔi)
- Turkish: izlemek (tr), takip etmek (tr)
- Ukrainian: слі́дувати impf (slíduvaty), сліди́ти impf (slidýty)
- Urdu: پیچھا کرنا (pīchā karnā)
- Vietnamese: theo (vi), đi theo
- Walloon: shuve (wa)
- Welsh: canlyn (cy), dilyn (cy), olhau
- West Frisian: folgje
to go or come after in a sequence
to carry out in accordance to
to live one’s life according to
to be a logical consequence of
follow (plural follows)
- (sometimes attributive) In billiards and similar games, a stroke causing a ball to follow another ball after hitting it.
- a follow shot
- (Internet) The act of following another user's online activity.
- 2012, Brett Petersel, Esther Schindler, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Twitter Marketing
- It doesn't take too many follows to become overwhelmed with the deluge of content on Twitter.
2016, Brooke Warner, Green-Light Your Book:
Social media is supervisual, and there's nothing more shareable than images, so this is a way to increase shares and likes and follows.