\ ˈap \

Definition of app 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : application sense 3 a word processing app especially : an application designed for a mobile device (such as a smartphone) Health-insurance companies and government officials alike are drawn to the ability of smartphone apps to reach tough-to-access patients, to effect long-term lifestyle changes, and to do it all at a very low cost. —Marcellus Hall — see also killer app

2 informal : appetizer … the hidden video monitors that tell the cooks when the V.I.P.'s have finished their apps —Thomas McNamee

Definition of app (Entry 2 of 2)

1 apparatus

2 appendix

3 appliance

Examples of app in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Cambridge Analytica trove included data on people who downloaded a personality-test app Mr. Kogan developed and some details about their friends. Georgia Wells, WSJ, "SEC Probes Why Facebook Didn’t Warn Sooner on Privacy Lapse," 12 July 2018 Unlike lo-fi bluetooth connections, Sonos speakers need a proprietary app to connect the hardware with streaming music sources and users’ libraries. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Apple's Airplay 2 May Be the Boost Sonos Needs for Its IPO," 11 July 2018 Most recently, Stone founded Huckle, a live group chat app for Twitter, which was used by celebrities and national media publications to drive engagement and growth for their accounts. Chuck Dauphin, Billboard, "Former Songkick, Taylor Swift Digital Execs Launch Project Admission, a Data-Driven Ticketing Venture," 5 July 2018 They can be rented using a smartphone app for as little as $1 and don’t have to be returned to a store or docking station. Gustavo Solis,, "Coronado to recycle impounded dockless bicycles," 4 July 2018 Al-Shokri, 44, said, using a telephone app that translated Arabic to English. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio’s refugee community celebrates Fourth of July in safe haven; worry about families left back home," 3 July 2018 Telegram, a messaging app with more than 200 million users, is a company known for its rakish independence. Jacob Silverman, Longreads, "Private Telegram, Public Strife," 3 July 2018 The messaging standard is supposed to make texting look more like chatting in a modern messaging app, complete with read receipts and typing indicators. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Samsung phones are spontaneously texting users’ photos to random contacts without their permission," 2 July 2018 In 2015, Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan, working with Cambridge Analytica, used a quiz app to gather data on those who took the survey and their friends. Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Seattle Times, "Facebook’s disclosures under scrutiny as federal agencies join probe of tech giant’s role in sharing data with Cambridge Analytica," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'app.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of app


1981, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for app

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for app

The first known use of app was in 1981

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English Language Learners Definition of app

computers : a computer program that performs a special function

Medical Definition of app 

(Entry 1 of 2)


Medical Definition of APP (Entry 2 of 2)

amyloid precursor protein

Legal Definition of App 


More from Merriam-Webster on app

Nglish: Translation of app for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of app for Arabic Speakers

Comments on app

What made you want to look up app? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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