Follow Suit – Meaning & Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Have you ever wondered why people tell you to follow suit? I promise it’s not a secret directive to become a detective on the trail of a suspicious set of playing cards. I’ll clarify some common misuses, delve into its etymology, and look at its various tense forms. I’ll also share a handy list of synonyms and demonstrate how to use this phrase in sentences. Stick with me as I unpack this phrasal suitcase!

Is It Follow Suit or Follow Suite?

Follow Suit – Meaning Origin

First things first, it’s follow suit, not follow suite. If you’re following a suite, you might end up trailing after a posh hotel room, and let’s be real, that’s not going to get you anywhere!

Follow Suit Meaning Broken Down

To follow suit means to do the same thing as someone else, usually in response to their actions. This phrase tends to apply when someone sets a pattern and others decide to copy or continue that pattern.

Think of a mother duck and her little ducklings trailing behind her. They’re following suit of their momma!

Different Tenses to Use

  • Follow (present): When my friend enrolled in a cooking class, I decided to follow suit.
  • Followed (past): My brother got a pet dog, and I soon followed suit.
  • Following (continuous): Everyone in our neighborhood is putting up solar panels, and we are thinking about following suit.

Origin and Etymology Behind Follow Suit

Follow Suit Ngram
Follow suit usage trend.

The phrase follow suit comes from the game of cards, where “suit” means one of the four categories into which the cards are divided: hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades.

When a player starts with a card of a particular suit, others need to follow suit if they can. Over several years, we started using it in a more general sense to indicate doing what someone else has done.

Follow Suit Synonyms

  • Mimic
  • Emulate
  • Imitate
  • Copy
  • Echo
  • Mirror
  • Replicate
  • Match
  • Duplicate
  • Parrot

Using Follow Suit in a Sentence

Follow Suit – Meaning Origin 1

  • When Jack decided to move to the city, his friends quickly followed suit.
  • If one person starts wearing a new fashion trend, soon everyone will follow suit.
  • After the company announced flexible working hours, other businesses in the area followed suit.
  • When Mary started using environmentally-friendly products, her neighbors began to follow suit.
  • As soon as the team leader put in extra hours, his team members were quick to follow suit.
  • The first country legalized marijuana, and many others are now following suit.
  • My sister started a fitness regimen last week, and I’m considering following suit.
  • If the lead runner increases their pace, the others must follow suit to stay competitive.
  • Once one supermarket began offering online delivery, it wasn’t long before the others followed suit.
  • The prime minister made a public apology, prompting his cabinet to follow suit.

Follow Suit to Good Grammar!

That’s the ins, outs, ups and downs of follow suit. Plucked straight from a deck of cards, this phrase has become a universally understood way of saying, “Hey, that’s a good idea. I think I’ll do the same!” Now you can confidently follow suit and use it in your daily conversations.