apply

verb
ap·​ply | \ ə-ˈplī How to pronounce apply (audio) \
applied; applying

Definition of apply

transitive verb

1a : to put to use especially for some practical purpose He 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
2 : to employ diligently or with close attention You should apply yourself to your work.

intransitive verb

1 : to have relevance or a valid connection This rule applies to freshmen only.
2 : to make an appeal or request especially in the form of a written application apply for a job

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Other Words from apply

applier \ ə-​ˈplī(-​ə)r How to pronounce applier (audio) \ noun

Examples of apply in a Sentence

For further information, apply to the address below. I applied in writing to several different companies. You must have a high school diploma for this job. High school dropouts need not apply. After applying a thin layer of paint to the wall and letting it dry, apply another coat. We applied the ointment to the cut. I washed my face and applied fresh makeup. Fertilizer was applied to the lawn every two weeks.
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Recent Examples on the Web Supporters of the full Embarcadero bike lane project wonder why the agency can’t apply this quick-build method for 2.5 miles. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Next bike barrier frontier: San Francisco’s bustling Embarcadero," 10 Feb. 2020 Students are allowed to take a class while participating in a co-op, though certain restrictions apply. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "Thinking of a College Co-op Program? Here’s What You Need to Know," 10 Feb. 2020 Land acknowledgments signify that people are ready to listen and learn from the mistakes of their past and apply these lessons to their future actions. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Dissonance of a Land Acknowledgment at the Oscars," 10 Feb. 2020 The startups argue the rental car companies are trying to choke the competition by applying an unfair tax scheme. Amy Friedenberger, Washington Post, "General Assembly moves to regulate peer-to-peer car-sharing," 9 Feb. 2020 Cary spoke at the 1878 convention of the NWSA applying the principles of the 14th and 15th Amendments to women and men. Nsenga K. Burton, USA TODAY, "These 19 black women fought for voting rights," 8 Feb. 2020 Similar rules that describe do’s and don'ts apply to online personal data. Karuna Pande Joshi, The Conversation, "AI could constantly scan the internet for data privacy violations, a quicker, easier way to enforce compliance," 7 Feb. 2020 Walt Disney offered the press a preview of its virtual reality short Myth: A Frozen Tale, an experiment in applying VR's 360-degree immersion to traditional Disney animated storytelling. TheWeek, "reckons with the streaming revolution," 7 Feb. 2020 Verdict: Porsche creates the Porsche of EVs, applies Porsche pricing. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "Porsche Taycan Turbo S vs. Tesla Model S Performance: Electric Flattery," 7 Feb. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for apply

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

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Time Traveler for apply

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for apply

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Apply.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/applier. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for apply

apply

verb
How to pronounce apply (audio)

English Language Learners 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

apply

verb
ap·​ply | \ ə-ˈplī How to pronounce apply (audio) \
applied; applying

Kids Definition of apply

1 : to request especially in writing apply for a job
2 : to lay or spread on apply a coat of paint
3 : to place in contact apply heat
4 : to have relation or a connection This law applies to everyone.
5 : to put to use I applied my knowledge.
6 : to give full attention I applied myself to my work.
ap·​ply | \ ə-ˈplī How to pronounce apply (audio) \
applied; applying

Medical Definition of apply

: to lay or spread on apply antiseptic to a cut

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More from Merriam-Webster on apply

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for apply

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with apply

Spanish Central: Translation of apply

Nglish: Translation of apply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apply for Arabic Speakers

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