1 (I, T) to walk, drive, run etc behind someone else, going in the same direction as them : follow sb/sth: If you'll just follow me, I'll show you to the office. | Tom Selleck walked in, followed by a crowd of photographers. | follow: I knew the way, so I went first, and the others followed.
2 (T) to go closely behind someone in order to watch them and find out where they go: Marlowe looked over his shoulder to make sure no-one was following him.
3 (I, T) to happen directly after an event or period: There was a major increase in immigration in the years that followed the First World War. | be (closely) followed by: The lightning was followed by a great crash of thunder. | in the days/weeks etc that followed: We saw a lot of each other in the months that followed. | there follows (=after that there is): There followed a long and embarrassing silence. | follow shortly (=happen soon): The late night movie will follow shortly.
—see also: following 1
4 (I, T) to come directly after something else, for example in a book or a series of things: A full report of the results follows this chapter. | be followed by: In English the letter `Q' is always followed by a `U'. | there follows (=after that there is): There follows a long description of the writer's early life.
5 (I, T) to do an important job after someone else : be followed by: Ivan was followed by a succession of weak rulers.
6 a hard act to follow spoken someone who is so good at something that it will be difficult for the next person to be as good or as successful
7 as follows used to introduce a list of names, things, instructions etc that come next: The results are as follows: First was Sweden, then Germany, then Ireland.
8 to follow after the main part of a meal: We're having the poached salmon, with chocolate mousse to follow.
9 follow sb's orders/wishes/advice etc to do something in the way that someone has told you to do it, advised you to do it etc: If you'd followed my advice, none of this would have happened. | follow sb's orders etc to the letter (=do exactly what someone told you to do)
10 follow the instructions/a diagram etc to do something according to the rules or instructions that say how it should be done: Did you follow the instructions on the package?
11 follow the signs/sb's directions to go in the direction that the signs say you should go or that someone has told you to go: Follow the signs for the airport, then turn off when you see the hotel.
12 (T) to believe in and obey a particular set of religious or political ideas, or a leader who teaches these ideas: They still follow the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.
13 (I, T) to understand something such as an explanation or story: I didn't quite follow what he was saying. | easy/hard to follow: I must admit I found the plot a bit hard to follow.
14 (I, T) to do the same thing as someone else after they have done it: We all had to follow the teacher. | follow sb into (=do the same job as someone else especially a member of your family): None of my children seem to want to follow me into journalism. | follow sb's example (=do the same as them because it is a good thing to do): They have an excellent childcare policy, and we're hoping other companies will follow their example.
15 follow suit to do the same as someone else has just done: The Russian team pulled out of the Los Angeles Olympics, and several Eastern European countries followed suit.
16 follow (in) sb's footsteps to do the same job as someone else who did it before you: My father was a jazz player, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.
17 follow the herd/crowd to do the same thing as other people, without really thinking about what you want to do
18 (T) to be interested in a particular sports team, and be concerned about its performance and results: The President follows the Red Sox.
19 (T) to be interested in the way a situation or set of events develops, and try to find out the latest information about it: Have you been following that crime series on TV?
20 follow your instincts/feelings to do something in the way that you feel is best
21 follow your nose
a) to do something in the way that you feel is right, without asking or checking
b) to go straight forward: Turn left at the bank, then just follow your nose.
a) to continue along a particular road, river etc: Follow the main road until you get to the coast.
b) to go in the same direction as something else, especially something that is very close: The railway follows the road for several miles, and then branches off.
23 follow a trend/pattern/course etc to continue to happen or develop in a particular way: In Australia, the weather follows a fairly predictable pattern.
24 it follows (that) (I) it must be true as a result of something else that is true: Just because you're rich, it doesn't necessarily follow that you're happy.
25 WATCH/LISTEN CAREFULLY (T) to carefully watch someone move or listen to them speaking : follow sb with your eyes: The men all followed her with their eyes as she entered the bar.
26 THINK ABOUT/STUDY (T) to study or think about a particular idea or subject and try to find out more about it: It turned out we were both following the same line of research.
27 BE ABOUT (T) to show or describe someone's life or a series of events, for example in a film or book: The film follows Rocky's career as a boxer from his early days.
28 follow a profession/trade/way of life formal to do a particular job or have a particular way of life
follow sb around also follow sb about BrE phrasal verb (T) to keep following someone everywhere they go: I wish you'd stop following me around. follow through phrasal verb
1 (I, T) to do what needs to be done after the main part of something is finished, in order to make sure it is complete or successful : follow sth through: The success of any healthcare program depends on its ability to follow through.
2 (I) to continue moving your arm after you have hit the ball in tennis, golf etc
—see also: follow­through follow up phrasal verb
1 (transitive follow something up) to do something as a result of something you have found out, someone has suggested etc: The police were criticized for failing to follow up the complaint.
2 follow (sth) up with to do something in addition to what you have already done in order to make sure of success: The train drivers have voted to follow up their one-day strike with a series of 48-hour stoppages.
—see also: follow­up1

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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