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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I felt my way down the wide, dark staircase in my pursuit of zephyrs.

  • "I am satisfied with the pursuit of wisdom, not with the fame of it," replied the sage.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • But every one of the five felt that they were safe, at least for the present, from pursuit.

    The Eyes of the Woods Joseph A. Altsheler
  • The next morning the squadron weighed, and stood out in pursuit of the English.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • We did not continue the pursuit that day, because we were very tired.

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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