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go after (someone or something)
1. To do something after someone else does. Karen was in line first, so you can go after her.
2. To pursue someone or something in order to catch or catch up with them or it. Todd seemed pretty upset when he ran out, so I'll go after him and see how he's doing. I saw her running down the street going after some papers that were being blown away by the wind.
3. To pursue some desired goal, achievement, objective, etc. Sarah's always been one to go after her dreams, so I'm not surprised she's such a successful businesswoman now. I'm going after a PhD in applied physics.
4. To attempt to achieve dominance in some competitive field or market. With this latest acquisition, it's become clear that the tech company is going after the high-end mobile phone market.
5. To make a concerted effort to punish someone or something acting or operating illegally. The government has made it clear that it will start going after companies that fail to disclose overseas earnings on their tax filings. The FBI has been going after the notorious gangster for years, but they are still no closer to nailing him on any credible charges.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
go after someone, something, or an animal
1. Lit. to pursue someone, something, or an animal. (See also go after someone.) The dogs went after the burglar. I went after the gang that took my wallet.
2. Fig. to charge or attack someone or an animal. The bear went after the hunters and scared them off. Then the bear went after the hunting dogs and killed two.
go after someone
to investigate someone or something for possible criminal prosecution. The prosecutor went after Max first, knowing that Max was the gang leader. The police detectives went after the whole gang.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Pursue, try to get, as in The officer went after the burglar; or Ed was going after a new job with a vengeance. [Mid-1400s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To depart later than some specific time: Don't go after 7:00, because the store will be closed.
2. To perform an activity after someone else: Since we have only one shower, I go after my brother, and my sister goes after me.
3. To chase or pursue someone or something: The dogs went after the cats down the alley.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.