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fol·low / ˈfälō/ • v. [tr.] 1. go or come after (a person or thing proceeding ahead); move or travel behind: she went back into the house, and Ben followed her | [intr.] he was following behind in his car. ∎  go after (someone) in order to observe or monitor: the KGB man followed her everywhere. ∎ archaic strive after; aim at: I follow fame. ∎  go along (a route or path). ∎  (of a route or path) go in the same direction as or parallel to (another): the road follows a hidden sweetwater brook. 2. come after in time or order: the six years that followed his restoration | [intr.] the rates are as follows. ∎  happen after (something else) as a consequence: raucous laughter followed the ribald remark | [intr.] retribution soon followed. ∎  [intr.] be a logical consequence: it thus follows from this equation that the value must be negative. ∎  [tr.] (of a person) do something after (something else): he follows his surprise hit movie with a paranoid thriller. ∎  (often be followed by) have (a dish or course) after another or others in a meal: turkey was followed by dessert. 3. act according to (an instruction or precept): he has difficulty in following written instructions. ∎  conform to: the film faithfully follows Shakespeare's plot. ∎  act according to the lead or example of (someone): he follows Aristotle in believing this. ∎  treat as a teacher or guide: those who seek to follow Jesus Christ. 4. pay close attention to (something): I've been following this discussion closely. ∎  keep track of; trace the movement or direction of: she followed his gaze, peering into the gloom. ∎  maintain awareness of the current state or progress of (events in a particular sphere or account): young Italians follow football. ∎  (of a person or account) be concerned with the development of (something): the book follows the life and career of Henry Clay. ∎  understand the meaning or tendency of (a speaker or argument): I still don't follow you. 5. practice (a trade or profession). ∎  undertake or carry out (a course of action or study): she followed a strict diet. • n. Billiards topspin imparted to a cue ball, causing it to continue forward after striking the object ball. PHRASES: follow in someone's footsteps (or steps) do as another person did before, esp. in following a particular career. follow one's nose 1. trust to one's instincts: you are on the right track so follow your nose. 2. move along guided by one's sense of smell. 3. go straight ahead. follow suit (in bridge, whist, and other card games) play a card of the suit led. ∎  conform to another's actions: Spain cut its rates by half a percent but no other country has followed suit. PHRASAL VERBS: follow through (in golf, baseball, and other sports) continue one’s movement after the ball has been struck or thrown. follow something through continue an action or task to its conclusion. follow something up pursue or investigate something further: I decided to follow up the letters with phone calls.

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followaloe, callow, fallow, hallow, mallow, marshmallow, sallow, shallow, tallow •Pablo, tableau •cashflow • Anglo • matelot •Carlo, Harlow, Marlowe •Bargello, bellow, bordello, cello, Donatello, fellow, jello, martello, mellow, morello, niello, Novello, Pirandello, Portobello, Punchinello, Uccello, violoncello, yellow •pueblo • bedfellow • playfellow •Oddfellow • Longfellow •schoolfellow • Robin Goodfellow •airflow • halo • Day-Glo •filo, kilo •armadillo, billow, cigarillo, Murillo, Negrillo, peccadillo, pillow, tamarillo, Utrillo, willow •inflow • Wicklow • furbelow • Angelo •pomelo • uniflow •kyloe, lilo, milo, silo •Apollo, follow, hollow, Rollo, swallow, wallow •Oslo • São Paulo • outflow •bolo, criollo, polo, solo, tombolo •rouleau • regulo • modulo • mudflow •diabolo • bibelot • pedalo • underflow •buffalo •brigalow, gigolo •bungalow •Michelangelo, tangelo •piccolo • tremolo • alpenglow • tupelo •contraflow • afterglow • overflow •furlough • workflow

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follow he that follows freits, freits will follow him Scottish proverbial saying, early 18th century, meaning that someone who looks for portents of the future will find himself dogged by them (freits are omens).

see also follow the plough, trade follows the flag.

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FOLLOW

To conform to, comply with, or be fixed or determined by; as in the expression "costs follow the event of the suit." To go, proceed, or come after. To seek to obtain; to accept as authority, as in adhering to precedent.

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follow OE. folgian, corr. to OS. folgon (Du. volgen), OHG. folgēn (G. folgen), f. Gmc. *fulʒ-; of unkn. orig.