apply

verb
ap·​ply | \ ə-ˈplī \
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 \ 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

There was also a two-year delay between the first hearing and the first verdict, without the court applying for extensions according to procedure, the person said. Eva Dou, WSJ, "China Gives Four Days’ Notice for Canadian’s Retrial on Drug Charges," 11 Jan. 2019 This is the scholarship Deng has applied for three times. Sarah Butrymowicz, Marie Claire, "Refugee Girls Want to Change the World. Will We Let Them?," 7 Jan. 2019 While primping for the award show, the Westworld star displayed her voluminous, diffused curls defining her face, dramatic smokey topaz eyeshadow with a wink, while her makeup artist applied a soft pink lipstick with a lip brush. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Celebrity Instagrams From The 2019 Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 If a request is made and fulfilled to the guest's satisfaction, the concierge should also be tipped, and the same rule applies for the housekeeper. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "Are You Tipping Enough During Your Hotel Stay?," 12 Dec. 2018 As usual, engineers from SpaceX will assess the problem and apply fixes for future missions. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "After 26 straight successes, SpaceX fails to land Falcon 9 it wanted back," 5 Dec. 2018 Wrangling monopoles could be easy, bending the particles to our will just by applying common electromagnetic fields. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 One of the major concerns, and also one of the most time-consuming aspects of applying for a license, are environmental reviews. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Cape Canaveral Can Now Launch Commercial Spaceplanes," 9 Nov. 2018 Jason and Melinda Simmons, who applied to Chip's contest earlier this fall, are now able to bring their son home. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "How Chip and Joanna Gaines Helped This Couple Adopt a Child With Down Syndrome," 23 Oct. 2018

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

16 Jan 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 \
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 \
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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