late 13c., "to follow with hostile intent," from Anglo-Fr. pursuer, from O.Fr. poursuir (Mod. Fr. poursuivre), variant of porsivre, from V.L. *prosequare, from L. prosequi "follow up" (cf. prosecute), from pro- "forward" + sequi "follow" (see sequel). Meaning "to proceed, to follow" (a path, etc.), usually figurative, is from late 14c. Related: Pursuing.