v. pur·sued, pur·su·ing, pur·sues
1. To follow in an effort to overtake or capture; chase: a fox that was pursued by hounds.
2. To strive to gain or accomplish: pursue lofty political goals.
3. To proceed along the course of; follow: a ship that pursued the southern course.
a. To carry further; advance: Let's not pursue this argument.
b. To take action regarding (something), especially with the intention of sustained effort: a detective who pursued each lead.
c. To engage in (a vocation or hobby, for example); practice.
5. To try to have a romantic relationship with: a lady who was pursued by many suitors.
6. To continue to torment or afflict; haunt: was pursued by the demons of lust and greed.
1. To follow in an effort to overtake or capture; chase.
2. To take action regarding something or carry on an established activity or project.
[Middle English purseuen, pursuen, from Anglo-Norman purseure, pursure, from Vulgar Latin *prōsequere, from Latin prōsequī; see PROSECUTE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.