ap·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ ˌa-plə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce application (audio) \

Definition of application

1 : an act of applying:
a(1) : an act of putting something to use application of new techniques
(2) : a use to which something is put new applications for old remedies
b : an act of administering or laying one thing on another application of paint to a house
c : assiduous attention succeeds by application to her studies
2a : request, petition an application for financial aid
b : a form used in making a request filling out an application
3 : a program (such as a word processor or a spreadsheet) that performs a particular task or set of tasks
4 : the practical conclusion or lesson to be derived from a speech or writing (such as a moral tale)
5 : a medicated or protective layer or material an oily application for dry skin
6 : capacity for practical use words of varied application

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Examples of application in a Sentence

Our loan application has been approved. Anyone interested in running for office must file an application by August 1st. If you'd like to be considered for the job, please send us a letter of application that gives your experience and qualifications. Please fill out this application. The application of heat often helps sore muscles. Repeated application of fertilizer will help the grass become green and healthy. Repeated applications of fertilizer will help the grass become green and healthy. The cut should be treated with a generous application of ointment. Strict application of the rules is necessary in this case. the application of new information
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Recent Examples on the Web Sikh and Muslim soldiers could apply for exceptions to wear religious garb before the new process was created, but the applications were judged on a case-by-case basis that could take significant time to resolve. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "Air Force changes dress code to allow Sikh and Muslim garb," 14 Feb. 2020 Once the application is completed, the state has 90 days to rule. oregonlive, "Psychiatric hospital rejected 3 years ago still wants to add Portland-area inpatient beds. Deep in ‘crisis,’ Unity says there’s no need.," 14 Feb. 2020 City Council will consider approving the resolution of support for the 23 applications on Wednesday, and will also consider a resolution allowing 13 of those projects be exempt from the two-mile rule. R.a. Schuetz, Houston Chronicle, "Two dozen mixed-income projects seek tax credits in Houston," 11 Feb. 2020 Fox News: What are some of the potential real-world applications that might come from the investment in Antarctica? Fox News, "DOE Undersecretary for Science talks investing in Antarctica, national lab system and more: Q&A," 11 Feb. 2020 The Calm app has also been part of various clinical studies in an attempt to back up the application’s rhetoric. Ryan Kost,, "The (over) promise of the mindfulness revolution," 7 Feb. 2020 The application cites a window that opens on March 16 and closes on September 16 for the flight. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Starship may launch this spring, rideshare wars heat up," 7 Feb. 2020 In the directions, Beckham lays out the intended application, explaining that the priming moisturizer is to be used daily, with one to two pumps smoothed evenly over face, neck, and décolleté. Megan Decker,, "Victoria Beckham Just Launched A Groundbreaking Skin-Care Product," 6 Feb. 2020 Over time, the application has evolved from a fairly static online representation of an atlas, to a GPS-powered navigation tool, to a platform for reviews—and, of course, for ads. Lauren Goode, Wired, "Google Maps's Jen Fitzpatrick Says the Future of Maps Goes Beyond Driving," 6 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'application.' 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 application

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for application

Middle English applicacioun, from Latin application-, applicatio inclination, from applicare — see apply

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Time Traveler for application

Time Traveler

The first known use of application was in the 14th century

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Statistics for application

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Application.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for application


How to pronounce application (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of application

: a formal and usually written request for something (such as a job, admission to a school, a loan, etc.)
: a document that is used to make a formal request for something
: the act of putting something on a surface, a part of the body, etc.


ap·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ ˌa-plə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce application (audio) \

Kids Definition of application

1 : the act or an instance of applying application of the rules One application of paint should cover the wall well enough.
2 : something put or spread on a surface The nurse put cold applications on the sprained ankle.
3 : request entry 1 sense 1 an application for a job
4 : a document used to make a request for something You have to fill out an application.
5 : ability to be put to practical use The tool has a number of applications.
6 : a computer program (as a word processor or browser)


ap·​pli·​ca·​tion | \ ˌap-lə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce application (audio) \

Medical Definition of application

1 : an act of applying the application of a dressing to a wound
2 : a medicated or protective layer or material an oily application for dry skin

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Legal Definition of application

: a request for action or relief most applications request bail…or an extension of time to file— W. J. Brennan, Jr. also : a form used to make such a request an insurance application

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