Following: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

Last Updated on
September 29, 2023

1. Following (preposition): Coming after or as a result of.
2. Following (noun): A group of supporters or enthusiasts.
3. Following (adjective): Coming next, either in sequence or in time.
4. Following (verb): Present participle of the verb "follow", meaning to come after in sequence, to go or come after or behind.

The term "following" is versatile, serving different grammatical functions and encapsulating various meanings. From indicating a sequence to referring to a group of supporters, understanding its diverse uses can be enlightening.

"Following" Definition: What Does "Following" Mean?

The word "following" embodies a range of meanings, often influenced by the context in which it's used.

  • Sequential Order: Indicating that something comes after something else in a sequence or order.
  • Supporters or Enthusiasts: Refers to a group of individuals who support, admire, or are enthusiastic about a particular person, cause, or idea.
  • Temporal Order: Signifying that something happens after a particular event in time.
  • Act of Pursuit: Describing the action of tracking, chasing, or going after someone or something.

Parts of Speech

The word "following" in English can function as an adjective, noun, verb, or preposition. It describes what comes next, refers to a group of supporters, or indicates a sequence or result.

How to Pronounce "Following"?

Pronouncing "following" correctly is essential for clarity in communication.

Phonetic Pronunciation: ˈfɒləʊɪŋ (Stress on 'fɒl')

Synonyms of "Following": Other Ways to Say "Following"

The word "following" possesses an array of synonyms, each highlighting different facets of its meaning.

  • After
  • Subsequent
  • Next
  • Fans
  • Supporters
  • Admirers
  • Pursuing

Antonyms of "Following": Other Ways to Say "Following"

Antonyms of "following" shed light on its contrasting meanings.

  • Before
  • Previous
  • Preceding
  • Leading

Examples of "Following" in a Sentence

The application of "following" in sentences provides a clearer understanding of its diverse interpretations.

Here are ten sentences showcasing its various usages:

1. I always take a shower following my morning workouts.
2. The artist gained a huge following after the release of her debut album.
3. Who knows where they went following the event?
4. She has a massive following on social media platforms.
5. The detective was following the suspect through the crowded market.
6. Following our heated conversation, I feel the need to vent.
7. The movie will be screened the following week.
8. She decided to let it go, following some deep reflection.
9. He kept following his passion despite numerous setbacks.
10. The leader spoke to his dedicated following about future plans.

Frequency of Use

"Following" is a commonly used term in everyday language, literature, and various forms of communication, emphasizing its significance across contexts.

Variants of "Following"

The term "following" stems from the verb "follow". Understanding its various forms can help in grasping the spectrum of its meanings.

1. Follow: The base verb form, indicating the action of going or coming after in position or time.
2. Followed: Past tense of follow, illustrating a completed action of coming after.
3. Follower: A noun denoting a person who supports and admires a particular person or set of ideas.

Related Terms to "Following"

Several terms are related to "following," each with its specific meaning and application. These terms often describe various aspects of pursuit, sequence, or support.

1. Pursuit
2. Successor
3. Trail
4. Adherence
5. Audience
6. Supporters
7. Sequence
8. Subsequent

Etymology: History and Origins of "Following"

The term "following" is derived from the Middle English word "folwen," which originates from Old English "folgian," meaning "to accompany or pursue." This word has roots in the Proto-Germanic "*fulgojanan," leading to similar terms in various Germanic languages, all signifying "to follow." Initially, it likely was a compound, "*full-gan," suggesting "full-going," but its meaning evolved to indicate servitude or accompaniment. By the late Old English period, it took on the sense of obeying or being subservient to a leader.

Derivatives and Compounds of "Following"

"Following" has given rise to several derivatives and compounds that relate to sequence, adherence, or support. These words are often formed by combining "following" with other terms or adapting their base form.

1. Follow: The verb form implying the act of coming after or adhering to.
2. Follower: An individual who comes after or supports a person, cause, or trend.

Common Misspellings of "Following"

The correct spelling of "following" is essential for precise communication. However, common misspellings occur, which might lead to misunderstandings.

Here are some common misspellings and incorrect forms of "following":

1. Followin
2. Folowing
3. Followng

10 Idioms Similar to "Following"

While the word "following" itself may not be the core of many idioms, there are expressions related to the act of pursuing or succeeding, which capture the essence of the word's meaning.

1. Follow in someone's footsteps
2. Follow suit
3. Follow one's nose
4. Have a following
5. Follow the crowd
6. Follow the beaten path
7. Follow the money
8. Follow your heart
9. Follow on the heels of
10. Hard on someone's heels

10 Common Questions About "Following"

The multifaceted nature of "following" inspires a variety of questions. Delving into these inquiries offers a deeper appreciation of the term's range and usage.

1. What does "having a large following" imply?

It suggests that a person or entity has a substantial number of supporters or admirers.

2. How does "following" relate to social media?

In social media, "following" refers to subscribing to someone's content, or it can denote the group of subscribers themselves.

3. What's the difference between "following" and "chasing"?

"Following" implies a more passive or systematic pursuit, while "chasing" suggests active, often hurried pursuit.

4. Can "following" refer to a sequence in time?

Yes, "following" can mean subsequent or coming after in a sequence, as in "the following day."

5. What does it mean to "follow the rules"?

It means to adhere to or abide by guidelines or regulations.

6. How can one increase their "following" on social media?

By consistently producing engaging content, interacting with audiences, and employing effective marketing strategies.

7. What is a "cult following"?

A "cult following" refers to a dedicated and passionate group of fans or admirers, often for niche subjects or entities.

8. How does "following" relate to trends?

"Following" a trend means adopting or engaging in a popular activity, style, or behavior prevalent in a specific period.

9. Is "following" always passive?

No, "following" can be active, especially when referring to pursuits or investigations.

10. Can "following" be used in navigation?

Yes, "following" a map or directions refers to navigating based on provided guidance.


The term "following" is versatile, encompassing various nuances from pursuing to sequencing and even referring to a group of supporters. Its significance in daily conversation and specific contexts like social media emphasizes its continued relevance. For more definitions and insights into words, our expansive section is here to enhance your lexical understanding.

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