AskDefine | Define following

Dictionary Definition

following adj
1 going or proceeding or coming after in the same direction; "the crowd of following cars made the occasion seem like a parade"; "tried to outrun the following footsteps" [ant: leading]
2 in the desired direction; "a following wind" [syn: following(a)]
3 immediately following in time or order; "the following day"; "next in line"; "the next president"; "the next item on the list" [syn: next]
4 about to be mentioned or specified; "the following items" [syn: following(a), undermentioned]


1 a group of followers or enthusiasts [syn: followers]
2 the act of pursuing in an effort to overtake or capture; "the culprit started to run and the cop took off in pursuit" [syn: pursuit, chase]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK) /ˈfɒləʊɪŋ/, /"fQl@UIN/
  • (US) /ˈfɑloʊɪŋ/, /"fAloUIN/
  • Hyphenation: fol·low·ing


  1. Coming next, either in sequence or in time
    See the following section.
  2. About to be specified
    The following words have no definition . . .
  3. In the context of "of a wind": Blowing in the direction of travel
    The following wind sped us on our way.


next in sequence or time
  • Czech: následující
  • Danish: følgende, næste
  • Dutch: volgende
  • Finnish: seuraava
  • German: folgend, anschließend, nachstehend
  • Greek: ακόλουθος (akólouthos)
  • Russian: следующий
to be specified
  • Danish: næste
  • Finnish: seuraava
  • German: folgend, nachstehend
  • Greek: εξής (exís), ακόλουθος (akólouthos)
  • Russian: следующий
wind blowing in the direction of travel
  • Finnish: myötäinen
  • German: folgend
  • Russian: попутный


  1. after, subsequent to
    Following the meeting, we all had a chat.


subsequent to
  • Danish: efter
  • Finnish: jälkeen
  • German: folgende


  1. A group of followers, attendants or admirers; an entourage
    He had a loyal following.


group of followers
  • Danish: følge
  • Finnish: kannattajakunta
  • German: Anhänger, Anhängerschaft, Gefolge, Gefolgschaft, Fangemeinde

Extensive Definition

Following is a 1998 film noir. It tells the story of a young man who follows strangers around the streets of London and is drawn into a criminal underworld when he fails to keep his distance. The film was made on a tiny budget, and features an unusual non-linear plot structure. It is the first feature film directed by Christopher Nolan, who went on to direct films such as Memento, Batman Begins, and The Prestige.


A struggling young writer takes to following strangers around the streets of London, ostensibly to find inspiration for his new novel. Initially, he sets strict rules for himself regarding whom he should follow and for how long, but quickly discards them as he becomes addicted. He is spotted whilst following a well-manicured young man dressed in a dark suit. He introduces himself as "Cobb", and the young man gives his name as "Bill". Cobb asks the young man if he works for the police, before revealing that his appearance is a ruse. He is in fact a professional thief. Cobb invites the young man to help him in various burglaries. The material gains from these crimes seem to be of secondary importance to Cobb, who takes pleasure in rifling through the personal items in his victim's flats. He explains that his true passion is using the shock of robbery to make them re-examine their lives.
The young man is thrilled by Cobb's lifestyle, and begins to emulate him, cutting his hair short and wearing a dark suit. He attempts break-ins of his own, as Cobb encourages and guides him. The young man also begins to follow a blond woman, who appears to be the girlfriend of a local gangster. He makes advances on her, and ,when he is rebuked, he breaks into her flat.
Cobb and the blond woman draw the young man deeper into a criminal underworld, and it quickly becomes apparent that they have been concealing their true motives.


Following was written, directed, filmed, and co-produced by Christopher Nolan.
The Los Angeles Times was particularly impressed with the film, saying that it was a "taut and ingenious neo-noir" and that "as a psychological mystery it plays persuasively if not profoundly. Nolan relishes the sheer nastiness he keeps stirred up, unabated for 70 minutes." TV Guide called it "short, sharp and tough as nails", praising it's fast-paced storytelling and 'tricky, triple-tiered flashback structure'.
However, Time Out London felt that the film's climax was uninspired, saying that "the generic pay off is a little disappointing after the edgy, character based scenes of exposition." Empire magazine questioned the skill of the film's inexperienced cast, saying that they "lack the dramatic ballast to compensate for [Nolan's] erratic plot elisions"


Three actors from this movie, Jeremy Theobald, Lucy Russell and John Nolan make cameo appearances in Batman Begins, also by the same director. There's a Batman symbol on the protagonist's apartment door.


External links

following in German: Following
following in French: Following
following in Italian: Following

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adherent, after, afterlife, alike, aped, appendage, appendant, attendance, attendant, audience, behind, below, body of retainers, buff, bugging, cadet, cavaliere servente, chase, clientage, clientele, cloak-and-dagger work, cohort, coming, coming after, consecution, consecutive, consecutiveness, consequent, consequential, consimilar, continuation, continuity, copied, copying, cortege, counterespionage, counterfeit, counterfeiting, counterintelligence, court, courtier, cynegetic, dangler, deducible, dependent, derivable, derivational, derivative, descent, disciple, dogging, electronic surveillance, emulation, ensuing, entourage, ersatz, espial, espionage, extension, fake, fakery, fan, favoring, final, fishing, flunky, follow, follow-up, follower, forgery, future time, halieutic, hanger-on, hangover, henchman, hit-off, homme de cour, homogeneous, hue and cry, hunting, identical, imitated, imitation, impersonation, imposture, impression, in full cry, in hot pursuit, in pursuit, infenible, intelligence, intelligence work, junior, lateness, later, like, line, lineage, lineal, logical sequence, military intelligence, mimesis, mimicked, mirroring, mock, nearly reproduced, next, next life, not unlike, observation, onomatopoeia, order, order of succession, parasite, parody, partisan, phony, piscatorial, piscatory, plagiarism, plagiary, postdate, postdating, posterior, posteriority, postposition, postpositional, postpositive, procession, progression, prolongation, prosecution, provenience, proximate, public, puisne, pursuance, pursuant, pursuer, pursuing, pursuit, pursuivant, quest, questing, remainder, repetition, resembling, resultant, resulting, retinue, rotation, rout, satellite, searching, secret police, secret service, sectary, seeking, sequacious, sequence, sequent, sequential, series, shadow, shadowing, similar, simulated, simulation, since, smacking of, something like, spying, stakeout, stalking, stooge, subjunction, subsequence, subsequent, subsequent to, succeeding, succession, successive, successiveness, successor, suffixation, suffixed, suggestive of, suite, supervenience, supervention, supporter, surveillance, synthetic, tagtail, tail, tailing, takeoff, tracking, tracking down, trailing, train, trainbearer, uniform with, votary, ward heeler, wiretap, wiretapping, younger
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