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verb ap·ply \ə-ˈplī\

Simple Definition of apply

  • : to ask formally for something (such as a job, admission to a school, a loan, etc.) usually in writing

  • : to put or spread (something) on a surface, a part of the body, etc.

  • : to cause (force, pressure, etc.) to have an effect or to be felt

Full Definition of apply


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to put to use especially for some practical purpose <applies pressure to get what he wants> b :  to bring into action <apply the brakes> c :  to lay or spread on <apply varnish> d :  to put into operation or effect <apply a law>

  3. 2 :  to employ diligently or with close attention <should apply yourself to your work>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to have relevance or a valid connection <this rule applies to freshmen only>

  6. 2 :  to make an appeal or request especially in the form of a written application <apply for a job>

ap·pli·erplay \-ˈplī(-ə)r\ noun

Examples of apply

  1. For further information, apply to the address below.

  2. I applied in writing to several different companies.

  3. You must have a high school diploma for this job. High school dropouts need not apply.

  4. After applying a thin layer of paint to the wall and letting it dry, apply another coat.

  5. We applied the ointment to the cut.

  6. I washed my face and applied fresh makeup.

  7. Fertilizer was applied to the lawn every two weeks.

Origin of apply

Middle English applien, from Anglo-French aplier, from Latin applicare, from ad- + plicare to fold — more at ply

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with apply

aby, agley, air-dry, Alai, ally, Altai, anti, assai, awry, aye-aye, Bacchae, Baha'i, banzai, barfly, bee fly, Belgae, belie, bigeye, big lie, black eye, blackfly, black tie, blow-dry, blowby, blowfly, blue-sky, Bo Hai, bone-dry, bonsai, botfly, Brunei, buckeye, bugeye, bye-bye, canaille, catchfly, cat's-eye, Chennai, chess pie, Chiang Mai, cockeye, cockshy, come by, comply, cow pie, crane fly, cross-eye, deadeye, decry, deep-fry, deep-sky, deerfly, defy, Delphi, deny, descry, do by, dong quai, drip-dry, drop by, dry eye, dry fly, elhi, Eli, espy, face fly, firefly, fish-eye, flesh fly, flyby, fly high, forby, freeze-dry, frogeye, fruit fly, gadfly, gallfly, get by, GI, glass eye, go by, good-bye, greenfly, grisaille, gun-shy, Haggai, Hawkeye, heel fly, hereby, hi-fi, hog-tie, horn fly, horsefly, housefly, imply, jai alai, July, Karzai, Kasai, knee-high, lanai, Lanai, lay-by, lay by, Lehigh, let fly, Levi, lie by, magpie, mai tai, mao-tai, Masai, mayfly, medfly, mind's eye, Moirai, mooneye, Mumbai, my eye, nearby, necktie, nilgai, nisi, outbye, outcry, oxeye, pad thai, Panay, panfry, Parcae, piece-dye, pigsty, pinkeye, Po Hai, pop eye, pop fly, potpie, put by, Qinghai, quasi, rabbi, red-eye, rely, reply, rib eye, ride high, rocaille, rough-dry, run dry, Sakai, sand fly, sci-fi, screw eye, semi, Sendai, serai, set by, shanghai, Shanghai, sheep's eye, shoofly, shut-eye, Sinai, sky-high, small-fry, stand by, standby, stir-fry, string tie, supply, swear by, terai, test-fly, thereby, tie-dye, titi, tongue-tie, Transkei, twist tie, two-ply, untie, vat dye, Versailles, walleye, well-nigh, whereby, whitefly, wild rye, wise guy

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb ap·ply \ə-ˈplī\

Medical Definition of apply


  1. :  to lay or spread on <apply antiseptic to a cut>

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February 9, 2016

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