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[fol-oh-throo, -throo] /ˈfɒl oʊˌθru, -ˈθru/
the completion of a motion, as in the stroke of a tennis racket.
the portion of such a motion after the ball has been hit.
the act of continuing a plan, project, scheme, or the like to its completion.
1895-1900; noun use of verb phrase follow through


[fol-oh] /ˈfɒl oʊ/
verb (used with object)
to come after in sequence, order of time, etc.:
The speech follows the dinner.
to go or come after; move behind in the same direction:
Drive ahead, and I'll follow you.
to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to:
Many Germans followed Hitler.
to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey:
to follow orders; to follow advice.
to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar:
They follow the latest fads.
to move forward along (a road, path, etc.):
Follow this road for a mile.
to come after as a result or consequence; result from:
Reprisals often follow victory.
to go after or along with (a person) as companion.
to go in pursuit of:
to follow an enemy.
to try for or attain to:
to follow an ideal.
to engage in or be concerned with as a pursuit:
He followed the sea as his true calling.
to watch the movements, progress, or course of:
to follow a bird in flight.
to watch the development of or keep up with:
to follow the news.
to keep up with and understand (an argument, story, etc.):
Do you follow me?
verb (used without object)
to come next after something else in sequence, order of time, etc.
to happen or occur after something else; come next as an event:
After the defeat great disorder followed.
to attend or serve.
to go or come after a person or thing in motion.
to result as an effect; occur as a consequence:
It follows then that he must be innocent.
the act of following.
Billiards, Pool. follow shot (def 2).
follow-up (def 3).
Verb phrases
follow out, to carry to a conclusion; execute:
They followed out their orders to the letter.
follow through,
  1. to carry out fully, as a stroke of a club in golf, a racket in tennis, etc.
  2. to continue an effort, plan, proposal, policy, etc., to its completion.
follow up,
  1. to pursue closely and tenaciously.
  2. to increase the effectiveness of by further action or repetition.
  3. to pursue to a solution or conclusion.
follow suit. suit (def 21).
before 900; Middle English folwen, Old English folgian; cognate with Old Saxon folgon, Old High German folgēn, folgōn (German folgen)
Related forms
followable, adjective
unfollowable, adjective
unfollowed, adjective
well-followed, adjective
3. obey. 4. heed, observe. 8. accompany, attend. 9. pursue, chase; trail, track, trace. 19. arise, proceed. Follow, ensue, result, succeed imply coming after something else, in a natural sequence. Follow is the general word: We must wait to see what follows. A detailed account follows. Ensue implies a logical sequence, what might be expected normally to come after a given act, cause, etc.: When the power lines were cut, a paralysis of transportation ensued. Result emphasizes the connection between a cause or event and its effect, consequence, or outcome: The accident resulted in injuries to those involved. Succeed implies coming after in time, particularly coming into a title, office, etc.: Formerly the oldest son succeeded to his father's title.
1. precede. 2, 3. lead. 4. disregard. 9. flee. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for follow through
  • Intern will answer phones, take requests, and follow through on such requests.
  • Somehow that feeling made me want to follow through on misdirections of intimacy, misdirections of empathy.
  • As a physician it is often difficult to follow through with scientific recommendations.
  • Children perhaps need training to focus and to follow through as well as to follow the tempting byways available on screen.
  • follow through with your throwing arm's motion after the stone is released.
  • In science, however, conclusions are only allowed if they follow through logical reasoning from demonstrated facts.
  • Anonymous mentioned people need to follow through more in the promising areas.
  • There also needs to be more attention paid to long term follow through.
  • He told me that he failed to follow through on these important interviews.
  • And a flake is someone who commits to something but doesn't follow through.
British Dictionary definitions for follow through

follow through

verb (adverb)
(sport) to complete (a stroke or shot) by continuing the movement to the end of its arc
(transitive) to pursue (an aim) to a conclusion
  1. the act of following through
  2. the part of the stroke after the ball has been hit
the completion of a procedure, esp after a first action


to go or come after in the same direction: he followed his friend home
(transitive) to accompany; attend: she followed her sister everywhere
to come after as a logical or natural consequence
(transitive) to keep to the course or track of: she followed the towpath
(transitive) to act in accordance with; obey: to follow instructions
(transitive) to accept the ideas or beliefs of (a previous authority, etc): he followed Donne in most of his teachings
to understand (an explanation, argument, etc): the lesson was difficult to follow
to watch closely or continuously: she followed his progress carefully
(transitive) to have a keen interest in: to follow athletics
(transitive) to help in the cause of or accept the leadership of: the men who followed Napoleon
(transitive) to choose to receive messages posted by (a blogger or microblogger): I've been following her online
(transitive) (rare) to earn a living at or in: to follow the Navy
(cards) follow suit
  1. to play a card of the same suit as the card played immediately before it
  2. to do the same as someone else
(billiards, snooker)
  1. a forward spin imparted to a cue ball causing it to roll after the object ball
  2. a shot made in this way
Derived Forms
followable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English folgian; related to Old Frisian folgia, Old Saxon folgōn, Old High German folgēn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for follow through



Old English folgian, fylgan "follow, accompany; follow after, pursue," also "obey, apply oneself to a practice or calling," from West Germanic *fulg- (cf. Old Saxon folgon, Old Frisian folgia, Middle Dutch volghen, Dutch volgen, Old High German folgen, German folgen, Old Norse fylgja "to follow").

Probably originally a compound, *full-gan with a sense of "full-going;" the sense then shifting to "serve, go with as an attendant" (cf. fulfill). Related: Followed; following. To follow one's nose "go straight on" first attested 1590s. "The full phrase is, 'Follow your nose, and you are sure to go straight.' " [Farmer].



1897, of golf swings, from verbal phrase follow through. Figurative use from 1926.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for follow through

follow through


: What's the logical follow-through to what he said?

verb phrase

To carry on with the next useful action; finish an action completely; pursue: Follow up these hints, and you'll find the answer (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with follow through

follow through

In sports such as tennis or golf, carry a stroke to completion after striking the ball. For example, You don't follow through on your backhand, so it goes into the net. [ Late 1800s ]
Carry an object, project, or intention to completion; pursue fully. For example, She followed through on her promise to reorganize the department . Also see follow up , def. 1.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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