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.

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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pursuit (pəˈsjuːt)
1.  a.  the act of pursuing, chasing, or striving after
 b.  (as modifier): a pursuit plane
2.  an occupation, hobby, or pastime
3.  (in cycling) a race in which the riders set off at intervals along the track and attempt to overtake each other
[C14: from Old French poursieute, from poursivre to prosecute,pursue]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "persecution," from Anglo-Fr. purseute, from O.Fr. porsuite (early 14c.), from porsivre (see pursue). Meaning "action of pursuit" attested from early 15c.; sense of "one's profession, recreation, etc." first recorded 1520s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
His differentness probably reinforced solitary pursuits-he gravitated to the river, to sketching, to sailing and to painting.
Composing music may be the loneliest of artistic pursuits.
But they yoke those ideals to pursuits of frisky entertainment or earnest
Students will think about how various geographical pursuits can help in this
  planning process.
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