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

Wolff is one of more than 200 homeowners in Santa Rosa who have applied in the past three years to build secondary units on their properties. Alexei Koseff, SFChronicle.com, "Backyard granny flats: California sees them as a housing-crisis solution," 6 Sep. 2019 Bird and Holbrook applied to TLDEF’s Name Change Project, which connects low-income individuals to pro bono attorneys who represent them in court. Dan Stahl, NBC News, "Making a name for yourself: For trans people, it's 'life-changing'," 6 Sep. 2019 The intelligence agency is desperate to find an operative to infiltrate the Syrian government within six months, and Eli — who applied twice to be a Mossad agent in the past but was rejected — is eager to accept the mission. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "Sacha Baron Cohen puts his subterfuge skills to good use in Netflix's The Spy," 5 Sep. 2019 Further, the latest round of tariffs applies to low-margin goods such as clothing — the kinds of goods least likely to return to the U.S. and least important to China’s strategic advance up the value chain. Nicholas Phillips, National Review, "The Trade War Is Smart Geopolitics," 5 Sep. 2019 Many operators who have applied in recent years, such as SoCal Recovery, are running up against the 650-foot buffer rule. Los Angeles Times, "Judge rules Costa Mesa can enforce its sober-living restrictions as lawsuit continues," 4 Sep. 2019 Many operators who have applied in recent years, such as SoCal Recovery, are running up against the 650-foot buffer rule. Daily Pilot, "Judge rules Costa Mesa can enforce its sober-living restrictions as lawsuit continues," 3 Sep. 2019 Most people who applied for FEMA had received it within a month. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "After Hurricane Dorian: Your house has flooded. Here's what you should do next.," 3 Sep. 2019 Last year in Fresno, roughly 17% of the 21,000 people who applied for a voucher got one. Jackie Botts, The Mercury News, "Thousands of California renters with Section 8 vouchers can’t use them. What lawmakers are doing about it," 3 Sep. 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

17 Sep 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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