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

Watch the rest of the video above to see all the products Barbara's makeup artist applies before the Oscars party and add them to your cart. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch Barbara Palvin Get Ready For The 2019 Oscars," 2 Mar. 2019 In the end my manicure looked like a smudgy, gooey mess applied by a color-happy kindergartener. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Seche Vite Top Coat Is the $6 Game Changer That Saved My Manicures," 22 Feb. 2019 There’s a lot riding on a student, like studying for exams, applying to college, and making plans for the future. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Why Doesn't Criminal Justice Reform Doesn't Include Immigration Law?," 9 Jan. 2019 California made waves when the state announced it would let fully autonomous vehicles test without humans behind the wheel in March, yet only one company applied. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "The good, the bad, and the ugly of self-driving cars in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 The 1,500-thread-count sheet set is available in 45 colors, all under $31 per set, but today's ultra-low price applies specifically to the queen-sized, gray set. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "Amazon's Bestselling Sheets Are On Sale For Just $15 Today," 14 Feb. 2019 At the same time, applying analysis to that data adds additional value. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel makes Bob Swan its permanent CEO, maintaining a slow, steady course away from the PC," 31 Jan. 2019 But take note: This rule applies for meat stored at exactly 0°F without fluctuation — it must be uniformly frozen at that temperature to keep harmful bacteria away. Christina Oehler, Woman's Day, "This Is How Long Frozen Meat Is Good For," 22 Jan. 2019 Another page on the site more broadly highlights the family's philanthropic efforts, and includes information on how an organization can apply for a royal patronage. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle was just announced patron of four charities, but what does that really mean?," 12 Jan. 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

13 Mar 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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