Follow vs Observe - What's the difference?

follow | observe |

As verbs the difference between follow and observe

is that follow is to go or come after in physical space while observe is to notice or view, especially carefully or with attention to detail.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?




(en verb)
  • To go after; to pursue; to move behind in the same path or direction.
  • To go or come after in a sequence.
  • We both ordered the soup, with roast beef to follow .
  • To carry out (orders, instructions, etc.).
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=4 , passage=The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track.
  • To live one's life according to (religion, teachings, etc).
  • To understand, to pay attention to.
  • To watch, to keep track of (reports of) some event or person.
  • To be a logical consequence of.
  • To walk in, as a road or course; to attend upon closely, as a profession or calling.
  • * Shakespeare
  • O, had I but followed the arts!


    * (go after in a physical space) trail, tail * (in a sequence) succeed * (carry out) pursue * (be a consequence) ensue


    * (go after in a physical space) guide, lead * (go after in a sequence) precede

    Derived terms

    * followable * follow along * followed by * follower * following * follow in someone's footsteps * follow on * follow out * follow shot * follow suit * follow someone off a cliff * follow the leader/follow-the-leader * follow the queen * follow through * follow-through * follow up * follow-up * hard act to follow * soon to follow * tough act to follow

    See also

    * chase






  • (lb) To notice or view, especially carefully or with attention to detail.
  • :
  • *1892 , (Arthur Conan Doyle),
  • *:“One horse?” interjected Holmes. ¶ “Yes, only one.” ¶ “Did you observe the colour?”
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-03, author=Frank Fish, George Lauder
  • , volume=101, issue=2, page=114, magazine=(American Scientist) , title= Not Just Going with the Flow , passage=An extreme version of vorticity is a vortex . The vortex is a spinning, cyclonic mass of fluid, which can be observed in the rotation of water going down a drain, as well as in smoke rings, tornados and hurricanes.}}
  • (lb) To follow or obey the custom, practice, or rules (especially of a religion).
  • :
  • *Bible, (w)
  • *:Ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread.
  • *{{quote-news, year=2011, date=November 10, author=Jeremy Wilson, work=Telegraph
  • , title= England Under 21 5 Iceland Under 21 0: match report , passage=A sell-out crowd of 10,000 then observed perfectly a period of silence before the team revealed their black armbands, complete with stitched-in poppies, for the match. After Fifa’s about-turn, it must have been a frantic few days for the England kit manufacturer. The on-field challenge was altogether more straightforward. }}
  • (lb) To comment on something; to make an observation.
  • :
  • *
  • *:Elbows almost touching they leaned at ease, idly reading the almost obliterated lines engraved there. ¶ ("I never) understood it," she observed , lightly scornful. "What occult meaning has a sun-dial for the spooney? I'm sure I don't want to read riddles in a strange gentleman's optics."
  • Synonyms

    * (follow a custom) celebrate

    Derived terms

    * observance * observant * observation * observational * observatory * observer


    * * English reporting verbs ----