footstep

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follow in (one's) footsteps

To pursue something that someone else (often a family member) has already done. My father was an engineer, and I plan to follow in his footsteps and study engineering in college. I am following in my sister's footsteps and joining her old sorority.
See also: follow, footstep

follow in the footsteps of

To pursue something that someone else (often a family member) has already done. I plan to follow in the footsteps of my father and study engineering in college. We are following in the footsteps of all the members of the sorority that came before us!
See also: follow, footstep, of

follow in someone's tracks

 and follow in someone's footsteps
to follow someone's example; to assume someone else's role or occupation. The vice president was following in the president's footsteps when he called for budget cuts. She followed in her father's footsteps and went into medicine.
See also: follow, track

follow in someone's footsteps

Also, follow in someone's tracks. Follow someone's example or guidance. For example, Dean hoped his son would follow in his footsteps and become an economist, or Jane tried to follow in her mentor's tracks. [Mid-1500s]
See also: follow, footstep

follow in someone's footsteps

COMMON If you follow in someone's footsteps, you do the same thing that they did. Rudolph Garvin was a college student, the son of a physician, who wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. He has developed on the pitch into a highly talented player, poised to follow in the footsteps of such Portuguese greats as Eusebio.
See also: follow, footstep

follow (or tread) in someone's footsteps

do as another person did before, especially in making a journey or following an occupation.
See also: follow, footstep

dog somebody’s ˈfootsteps

(of a problem or bad luck) seem to follow somebody everywhere: Bad luck seems to have dogged our footsteps from the beginning.
See also: dog, footstep

follow in somebody’s ˈfootsteps

to do the same job, have the same style of life, etc. as somebody else, especially somebody in your family: He followed in his dad’s footsteps and became a lawyer.
See also: follow, footstep

follow in (someone's) footsteps

To carry on the behavior, work, or tradition of.
See also: follow, footstep
References in classic literature ?
Are all these footsteps destined to come to all of us, Miss Manette, or are we to divide them among us?
I quickened my footsteps almost into a run, and immediately there was a stumble in my rear.
But when posterity should gaze back into the gloom of what was now the present, they would trace the brightness of his footsteps, brightening as meaner glories faded, and confess that a gifted one had passed from his cradle to his tomb with none to recognize him.
Tess soon went onward into the village, her footsteps echoing against the houses as though it were a place of the dead.
A light footstep and the clinking of spurs were heard at the door, and the young count, handsome, rosy, with a dark little mustache, evidently rested and made sleeker by his easy life in Moscow, entered the room.
Granet listened to the sound of his retreating footsteps with a frown upon his forehead.
The noise of her footstep, the rustling of her gown on the staircase, were so familiar to his ear, that she had no sooner mounted one step than he used to say to himself, --
In the intervals I heard him tramping all over the house, his footsteps distinctly audible in the pauses of the storm.
At the same moment the footsteps stopped outside her door.
The murderer was still in the chateau, for here were marks as of returning footsteps.
We went on to Cobb's Hole, seeing the footsteps on the sand, as long as the light lasted.
The footsteps we heard behind us were not the footsteps of any one belonging to the house.
He ran by my side without footsteps, whispering, whispering old words--whispering into my ear in his old voice.
That he was not dreaming now, unless he was taking a walk in his sleep, was clear, for every now and then there came a shuffling noise, as though he were engaged in polishing the whitewashed wall; then a gentle creaking of his door; then the faintest indication of his stealthy footsteps on the landing-place outside.
One, which advanced with a swift and rapid step, was that of a woman who looked eagerly about her as though in quest of some expected object; the other figure was that of a man, who slunk along in the deepest shadow he could find, and, at some distance, accommodated his pace to hers: stopping when she stopped: and as she moved again, creeping stealthily on: but never allowing himself, in the ardour of his pursuit, to gain upon her footsteps.