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

As before, Ford is recommending Fusion owners apply the parking brake at all times when the vehicle is stopped. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Ford Recalls 260,000 More Fusion Sedans for Breaking Shifter Cables," 15 May 2019 Adding topical niacinamide to your skin-care routine is simple and low-risk: Buy a product that contains it, and apply as directed. A.a. Newton, SELF, "Here’s What Niacinamide Can—and Can’t—Do for Your Skin," 8 May 2019 Wet the silver and apply the paste with a soft, lint-free cloth. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Jewelry Like a Pro," 7 May 2019 In Meghan's case, the time is a bit shorter because spouses of UK citizens can apply after 3 years of residence in the country. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Is Baby Sussex a Dual Citizen?," 6 May 2019 When applying to the role, attitude is just as important as proficiency with Apple products (if not more so). Kathleen Corlett, Woman's Day, "How to Work for Apple Without Leaving Your House," 1 May 2019 The company has also set up a form for nonprofit organizations to apply for free Pro accounts, too. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Flickr promises it won’t delete Creative Commons photos when it limits free storage," 7 Nov. 2018 This applies to Greene, who was a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and is buried in Johnson Square near his monument. Fox News, "Video from 2011 creates headaches for Sinema," 12 Oct. 2018 Mix the grout with water to the consistency of thick yogurt and apply it to the tile with a rubber grout float. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Your Quick and Dirty Guide to Tiling a Kitchen Backsplash," 26 Apr. 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

22 May 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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