The Meaning of Pursuant: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the word pursuant means? This article will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the word pursuant, including its meaning, origin, usage, synonyms, antonyms, example sentences, and more!

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What is the definition of pursuant?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Vocabulary, the word pursuant pronounced “pəˈsjuːənt” is mostly used in a legal sense to mean in accordance with or in conformance with. If someone is pursuant to international laws, sanctions or regulations, this means that they are following said law, ruling, or request. This word has a similar meaning to the word pursue, in that they both relate to following things. While the word pursue is more often used in physically following someone or something, the word pursuant is often used figuratively to refer to following some set of laws or guidelines. People can use the word pursuant to describe any set of rules or agreements, whether that is the rules of a contract or the dictates of someone ‘s conscience. To act pursuant to something means that you are following that thing. The word pursuant is an adjective, but it also has other forms. The noun is pursuance, pursuer, or pursuit, and the adverb is pursuantly. The variant of pursevant pursuivant is an archaic term meaning follower, according to Merriam-Webster.

What is the etymology of the word pursuant?

According to Etymonline, the word pursuant came to be in the late 14th century. This word comes from the Middle English poursuivant, or Anglo-French pursuant, which stems from the Old French poursuiant or Old French porsivant, which is the present participle form of porsuir or porsivre meaning to chase or pursue. This word has been used to mean to carry out or follow since the 1690s, and as an adverb to mean agreeably since the 1670s. The word has been used as a noun since the late 14th century.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word pursuant?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word pursuant, which are called synonyms. Synonyms are words and phrases that have the same meaning as other words and phrases, which are useful if one wants to avoid repeating themselves or if they want to expand their vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word pursuant is provided by Thesaurus.

  • knuckle to
  • observe
  • accord
  • fold
  • follow
  • roll over and play dead
  • satisfy
  • yield
  • play ball
  • fit in
  • acquiesce
  • conform to
  • put out
  • mind
  • knuckle under
  • go with the flow
  • ditto
  • respect
  • cave in
  • yes one
  • toss it in
  • play the game
  • accede
  • fulfill
  • give up
  • shape up
  • don’t rock the boat
  • don’t make waves
  • come around
  • submit
  • stay in line
  • consent to
  • obey
  • perform
  • straighten up
  • comply
  • keep
  • cry uncle
  • abide by
  • give in
  • defer
  • discharge
  • throw in towel
  • go along with
  • give out
  • adhere to
  • agree to

If someone wanted to use a word that was the opposite of the word pursuant, they could use an antonym. This list of antonyms, which are words that have the opposite meaning to a given word or phrase, is from Thesaurus.

  • infringe
  • go counter to
  • evade
  • disobey
  • resist
  • rebel
  • fly in face of
  • revolution
  • mutiny
  • break rules
  • contravene
  • not listen
  • recalcitrate
  • desert
  • decline
  • overstep
  • differ
  • disagree
  • defy
  • be remiss
  • strike
  • object
  • disregard
  • insurrect
  • shirk
  • ignore
  • not mind
  • take law into own hands
  • withstand
  • transgress
  • neglect
  • run riot
  • balk
  • dare
  • revolutionize
  • riot
  • counteract
  • violate
  • rise in arms
  • flout
  • pay no attention to
  • not heed
  • misbehave
  • set aside
  • revolt

How can the word pursuant be used in a sentence?

The word pursuant can be used in a variety of different circumstances, both in courtrooms and outside the realm of legal proceedings. The word pursuant can refer to anything that is following some set of beliefs or ideas. In this first example, Ben and his teacher Ms. Nesbet are discussing the results of Ben’s last test.

Ms. Nesbet: Ben, I must say I am surprised at the results of your last test. You have consistently gotten Cs and lower on all tests and homework. This time, you get a ninety-eight, and your test looks identical to the work of Ms. Taylor. Care to explain this?

Ben: Cara, I mean, Ms. Taylor, and I studied together. I worked really hard. I’m trying to improve.

Ms. Nesbet: I want to believe you, Ben. But Cara says she didn’t tutor you. Also, you both made a multiplication error – the same multiplication error – not an error in solving the problem. I would hope you would be pursuant to your moral compass and come clean. It will do you much better to tell the truth now.

Ben: Okay, okay. I cheated off of Cara Taylor’s test.

Here, Ms. Nesbet encourages Ben to be pursuant to his morals and turn himself in. In this next example, Ben is grounded for cheating.

Ben’s Dad: Here are the rules – home after school, no going out. Baseball practice is the only exception, and only because it’s for a grade. No phone after 10pm, tutoring twice a week. And that’s all on top of whatever punishment Ms. Nesbet is giving you.

Ben: This isn’t fair.

Ben’s Dad: It is absolutely fair. And if you aren’t pursuant to these rules, they will get harsher and stricter. Don’t test me. You know what they do in college when you cheat? They kick you out, no second chances there, Ben.

Overall, the word pursuant means in accordance with, or following some set of rules or ideas. People often use the term pursuant to refer to something figurative, whereas the verb pursue is used to describe a more physical or active sense of following things.

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/pursuant?s=t
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/disobey
  3. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pursuant%20to
  4. https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/pursuant
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pursuivant
  6. https://www.etymonline.com/word/pursuant