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 \ -​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

These Terms of Service apply to all users of the site, including without limitation users who are browsers, vendors, customers, merchants, and/ or contributors of content. nybooks.com, "Terms of service," 17 June 2019 This would be achieved in two ways, including executive orders and actions (taking Barack Obama’s playbook for climate policy and applying it much more aggressively) that would bypass Congress. The Economist, "The Democratic front-runners respond to the Green New Deal," 14 June 2019 And this didn’t just apply to poor, single mothers with limited education and limited opportunities. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "Can Elizabeth Warren Win It All?," 14 June 2019 In 2017, when the House voted to make the Hyde amendment permanent and apply it to Obamacare, only three Democrats supported it. John Mccormack, National Review, "Is the Hyde Amendment Safe After All?," 13 June 2019 Google Express is running an even better deal on the 4K-capable console, down to $349 with a coupon that automatically applies itself at checkout. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "The best Father’s Day deals that you can buy last minute," 12 June 2019 But applying it to companies one by one would require lawsuits, thus adding to the legal battles the companies are already waging. Margot Roosevelt, latimes.com, "Uber, Lyft say making drivers employees would ‘pose a risk to our businesses’," 12 June 2019 Dancing also requires the ability to take criticism and apply it. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Art and space: 'A quest never to end'," 12 June 2019 The parliament must still approve the measure, though Sierra Leone’s attorney general has ordered judges to start applying it already. Washington Post, "5-year-old girl paralyzed by rape shocks Sierra Leone," 9 June 2019

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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Statistics for apply

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for apply

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

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More Definitions for apply

apply

verb

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with apply

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for apply

Spanish Central: Translation of apply

Nglish: Translation of apply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apply for Arabic Speakers

Comments on apply

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