Definition of pursue in English:


Line breaks: pur¦sue
Pronunciation: /pəˈsjuː

verb (pursues, pursuing, pursued)

[with object]
  • 1Follow or chase (someone or something): 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.
    go after, run after, follow, chase, give chase to; hunt, stalk, track, trail, trace, shadow, dog, hound, course
    informal tail
  • 1.1Persistently seek to form a sexual relationship with (someone): 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.
    woo, court, pay court to, pay suit to, chase after, chase, run after
    informal make up to
    dated make love to, romance, set one's cap at, seek the hand of, pay addresses to
  • 1.2Seek to attain or accomplish (a goal) 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, push towards, work towards, try for, seek, search for, quest (after), be intent on, aim at/for, have as a goal, have as an objective, aspire to
  • 1.3 archaic or • literary (Of something unpleasant) persistently afflict (someone): mercy lasts as long as sin pursues man



More 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'.

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