Definition of pursue in English:

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Pronunciation: /pərˈso͞o/

verb (pursues, pursuing, pursued)

[with object]
1Follow (someone or something) in order to catch or attack them: the officer pursued the van figurative a heavily indebted businessman was being pursued by creditors
More example sentences
  • The most celebrated story of all, however, was one well-attested case of a monkey hotly pursuing an elderly policeman named Sub Inspector Bhola Ram.
  • Police officers pursuing the car stopped to help their victim, but despite the fact that he was no longer being pursued, the Peugeot driver went on to hit a second student.
  • He was arrested in the Roxy area by other police officers who pursued the bus on motorcycles.
follow, run after, chase;
informal tail
1.1Seek to form a sexual relationship with (someone) in a persistent way: Sophie was being pursued by a number of men
More example sentences
  • A stalker who tried to pursue a Lady Chatterley-style relationship with an Earl's daughter has been given a suspended jail sentence for flouting a court order to leave her alone.
  • Keaton looks fantastic, to the extent that when Keanu Reeves's charming doctor persistently pursues her, we're not in the least surprised.
  • He has become an itinerant preacher, but his temporary religious conversion does not prevent him from persistently pursuing her.
chase, run after, go after
informal make up to
dated woo, court, romance
1.2Seek to attain or accomplish (a goal), especially over a long period: should people pursue their own happiness at the expense of others?
More example sentences
  • But we must pursue and accomplish our goals of building Inuktitut resources and curriculum.
  • Instead, by letting themselves always yet never fully imitated by the cyborg, the human now pursues a more ambitious goal of taking the place of ‘Being.’
  • Last spring, Alexis O'Hara brought her third year of organizing the Montreal Slam to a halt in order to pursue her own artistic goals.
strive for, work toward, seek, search for, aim at/for, aspire to
1.3 archaic or literary (Of something unpleasant) persistently afflict (someone): mercy lasts as long as sin pursues man
2(Of a person or way) continue or proceed along (a path or route): the road pursued a straight course over the scrubland
More example sentences
  • We will continue to pursue the diplomatic path.
  • This suggests that diasporic Chinese communities can and may continue to pursue this multiple-identity path as their forebears.
  • Brown insists his doubters are wrong, and that he will pursue the path of continued reform.
2.1Engage in (an activity or course of action): Andrew was determined to pursue a computer career the council decided not to pursue an appeal
More example sentences
  • It was, of course, a mistake for him to pursue the Labour leadership.
  • At the present time the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is a federal executive authority, which pursues State policy and engages in State administration in matters of defense.
  • It's one thing to examine the options, it is another to pursue a determined course of action to achieve a concrete result.
engage in, be occupied in, practice, follow, prosecute, conduct, ply, take up, undertake, carry on
2.2Continue to investigate, explore, or discuss (a topic, idea, or argument): we shall not pursue the matter any further
More example sentences
  • Researchers around the world continue to pursue the idea, however.
  • Birkeland continued to pursue his ideas, but over time the quality of his work declined.
  • That's why it's so critically important that we continue to pursue the war against terrorism from a global standpoint.



Example sentences
  • We can say that the US attacks, backed by a global coalition, had practical, pursuable goals.
  • Plagiarism is an academic offence that can ruin a journalist's career, and it is pursuable by law.
  • Michael persists nonetheless in making a complete boob of himself in pursuit of the admittedly very pursuable policewoman.


Middle English (originally in the sense 'follow with enmity'): from Anglo-Norman French pursuer, from an alteration of Latin prosequi 'prosecute'.

Words that rhyme with pursue

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pur·sue

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