Etymology
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follow (v.)

Middle English folwen, from Old English folgian, fylgian, fylgan "to accompany (especially as a disciple), move in the same direction as; follow after, pursue, move behind in the same direction," also "obey (a rule or law), conform to, act in accordance with; apply oneself to (a practice, trade, or calling)," from Proto-Germanic *fulgojanan (source also of Old Saxon folgon, Old Frisian folgia, Middle Dutch volghen, Dutch volgen, Old High German folgen, German folgen, Old Norse fylgja "to follow"). Probably originally a compound, *full-gan, with a sense of "full-going," the sense then shifting to "serve, go with as an attendant" (compare fulfill). Related: Followed; following.

Sense of "accept as leader or guide, obey or be subservient to" was in late Old English. Meaning "come after in time" is from c. 1200; meaning "to result from" (as effect from cause) is from c. 1200. Meaning "to keep up with mentally, comprehend" is from 1690s. Intransitive sense "come or go behind" is from mid-13c. To follow one's nose "go straight on" first attested 1590s. "The full phrase is, 'Follow your nose, and you are sure to go straight.' " [Farmer]. The children's game follow my leader is attested by that name from 1812 (as follow the leader by 1896).

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follow-through (n.)
1896, of golf swings, from verbal phrase follow through; see follow (v.) + through (adv.). Figurative use from 1926.
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follow-up (n.)
1905, originally in the argot of sales and business, from verbal phrase follow up "pursue closely, act on energetically" (1794); see follow (v.) + up (adv.).
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following (n.)
late 14c., "action of following, an act of following," verbal noun from follow (v.). Meaning "a body of disciples or retainers" is from mid-15c.; Old English used folgoð in this sense.
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follower (n.)
Old English folgere "retainer, servant, disciple; successor," agent noun from follow. Compare similarly formed Old Frisian folgere, Dutch volger, German Folger. Related: Followers.
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satellite (n.)

1540s, "follower or attendant of a superior person" (but rare in this sense before late 18c.), from French satellite (14c.), from Latin satellitem (nominative satelles)  "an attendant" upon a distinguished person; "a body-guard, a courtier; an assistant," in Cicero often in a bad sense, "an accomplice, accessory" in a crime, etc. A word of unknown origin.

Perhaps it is from Etruscan satnal (Klein), or a compound of roots *satro- "full, enough" + *leit- "to go" (Tucker); for the latter, compare English follow, which is constructed of similar roots. De Vaan has nothing on it.

Meaning "planet that revolves about a larger one" is attested 1660s, on the notion of "an attendant," in reference to the moons of Jupiter, from Latin satellites, which was used in this sense 1610s by German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). Galileo, who had discovered them, called them Sidera Medicæa in honor of the Medici family.

Meaning "man-made machinery orbiting the Earth" is recorded by 1936 as theory, by 1957 as fact. Meaning "country dependent and subservient to another" is recorded by 1800 (John Adams, in reference to America). Related: Satellitic; satellitious.

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pursue (v.)

late 13c., "follow with hostile intent, follow with a view of overtaking," from Anglo-French pursuer and directly from Old French poursuir (Modern French poursuivre), variant of porsivre "to chase, pursue, follow; continue, carry on," from Vulgar Latin *prosequare, from Latin prosequi "follow, accompany, attend; follow after, escort; follow up, pursue," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow").

The meaning "to proceed, to follow" (a path, etc.), usually figurative (in reference to a course of action, etc.), is from late 14c. This sense also was in Latin. The meaning "seek, seek to obtain" also is late 14c. Related: Pursued; pursuing. For sense, compare prosecute.

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non sequitur (n.)

1530s, in logic, "an inference or conclusion that does not follow from the premise," a Latin phrase, "it does not follow," from non "not" + third person singular present indicative of sequi "to follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow").

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execute (v.)
late 14c. "to carry into effect" (transitive, mostly in law with reference to warrants, sentences, etc.), also "carry out or accomplish a course of action" (intransitive), from Old French executer (14c.), from Medieval Latin executare, from Latin execut-/exsecut-, past participle stem of exequi/exsequi "to follow out, to follow to the grave," figuratively "to follow, follow after, accompany, follow up, prosecute, carry out, enforce; execute, accomplish; punish, avenge," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow"). Meaning "to inflict capital punishment" is from late 15c., from earlier legal sense "perform judgment or sentence on" (early 15c.). Related: Executed; executing.
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ensue (v.)
c. 1400, "seek after, pursue; follow (a path)," from Old French ensu-, past participle stem of ensivre "follow close upon, come afterward," from Late Latin insequere, from Latin insequi "to pursue, follow, follow after; come next," from in- "upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow"). Early 15c. as "follow (as a consequence), to result;" mid-15c. as "to follow" in time or space, "to come or appear next, be subsequent to, happen subsequently." Related: Ensued; ensues; ensuing.
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