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[per-soot] /pərˈsut/
the act of pursuing:
in pursuit of the fox.
an effort to secure or attain; quest:
the pursuit of happiness.
any occupation, pastime, or the like, in which a person is engaged regularly or customarily:
literary pursuits.
Origin of pursuit
1300-50; Middle English < Anglo-French purseuteVulgar Latin *prōsequita for Latin prōsecūta, feminine of prōsecūtus, past participle of prōsequī to pursue; cf. suit
1. chase, hunt. 2. search. 3. activity, preoccupation, inclination. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pursuit
  • The act of in search of a perfect theory in itself is already a pursuit of failure.
  • We fly still faster in pursuit, twine our snakes around his feet, and bring him to the ground.
  • One of the chief elements of the value of human life is freedom in the pursuit of happiness.
  • In their pursuit of perfection they required an ampler environment.
  • For many, the pursuit of a college degree is itself a large bet against uncertain odds.
  • If you're not in the pursuit-of-truth business, then you should not be in the university.
  • Power and violence, a larger club or sharper sword, as if the ability to incinerate whole cities is an admirable pursuit.
  • The pursuit of happiness grants no exemption from respecting the rights of others.
  • Yet it's the pursuit of these things rather than knowledge that dominates academic culture.
  • We've turned education into an economic pursuit which is all about money and job-getting instead of what it is supposed to be.
British Dictionary definitions for pursuit


  1. the act of pursuing, chasing, or striving after
  2. (as modifier): a pursuit plane
an occupation, hobby, or pastime
(in cycling) a race in which the riders set off at intervals along the track and attempt to overtake each other
Word Origin
C14: from Old French poursieute, from poursivre to prosecute,pursue
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 pursuit

late 14c., "persecution," also "action of pursuit," from Anglo-French purseute, from Old French porsuite "a search, pursuit" (14c., Modern French poursuite), from porsivre (see pursue). Sense of "one's profession, recreation, etc." first recorded 1520s. As a type of track cycling race from 1938.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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