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pursuit (n.)

late 14c., "persecution" (a sense now obsolete), also "a chase with hostile intent," from Anglo-French purseute, pursuite, Old French porsuite "a search, pursuit" (14c., Modern French poursuite), from porsivre (see pursue).

Meaning "action of following briskly for the purpose of overtaking" (regardless of intent) is from mid-15c. Sense of "one's profession, recreation, etc." is attested from 1520s on the notion of "object of one's continued exertions, what one follows or engages in." As a type of track cycling race from 1938.

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Definitions of pursuit from WordNet

pursuit (n.)
the act of pursuing in an effort to overtake or capture;
the culprit started to run and the cop took off in pursuit
Synonyms: chase / pursual / following
pursuit (n.)
a search for an alternative that meets cognitive criteria;
the pursuit of love
Synonyms: pursuance / quest
pursuit (n.)
an auxiliary activity;
Synonyms: avocation / by-line / hobby / sideline / spare-time activity
pursuit (n.)
a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly);
they criticized the boy for his limited pursuits
Synonyms: pastime / interest
From wordnet.princeton.edu