follow follow [ˈfɒləʊ ǁ ˈfɑːloʊ] verb
1. [intransitive, transitive] to come or happen afterwards:

• The company's decision to diversify follows a sharp decline in demand for its products.

• As the recession worsened, further closures followed.

2. [intransitive] also follow on to be sent or paid later:

• You can pay a deposit of £400 now, with the balance to follow within 30 days.

3. [transitive] to do something in the way that someone has told or advised you to do it, or according to the instructions that say how it should be done:

• If you'd followed my advice, we'd still be in profit.

• The contractor was fined for failing to follow proper safety procedures.

• Just follow the guidelines contained in this report.

4. [transitive] to act according to a particular plan or set of ideas:

• The Chancellor is expected to follow a cautious economic policy.

• The company had followed the wrong strategy.

5. [transitive] to happen or develop in the same way as something else:

• These recent mergers appear to be following a trend.

• If one company drops its prices, the others have to follow suit (= do the same thing ) .

6. follow an occupation/​trade/​career etc formal to do a particular job or trade:

• He intends to follow a legal career.

follow something → up phrasal verb [transitive]
to do something as a result of something someone has suggested or something you have found out:

• Many of the report's recommendations are worth following up.

follow something up with something phrasal verb [transitive]
to do something to make sure that earlier actions have been successful or effective:

• To increase your chances of making a sale, it is important to follow the initial phone call up with an email or a letter.

— see also follow-up

* * *

follow UK US /ˈfɒləʊ/ verb
[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 bonds recovered after some initial selling following news of the proposed merger.


Government macro-economic policy encouraged a consumer boom followed by a deep recession.

[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 normal procedure had been followed.

[T] to watch something closely to see how it develops: »

He works for a group of Wall Street analysts who follow internet stocks closely.

[I or T] to do the same thing as someone: »

They were the first to introduce online ordering, but other companies have been quick to follow.

follow sb's example/lead »

When the company announces its price increases, many of its competitors are expected to follow its lead.

[I] (also follow on) to be sent or paid at a later date: »

Your bank card will arrive first, and the PIN number will follow, in a separate envelope.

as follows — Cf. as follows
follow a career, occupation, trade, etc. — Cf. follow a career, occupation, trade, etc.
follow suit — Cf. follow suit

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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