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

The same tool that was used to diagnose Sauber can be applied to potentially tens of thousands of others with similar autoimmune disorders triggered by cancer, said Michael Wilson, the UCSF neurologist who treated Sauber. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "Rare disease discovery: Antibodies fighting cancer go on to attack brain," 14 July 2019 Schumer says the federal agency should consider the New York City blackout a national priority because any lessons learned can be applied nationally. Washington Post, "The Latest: Con Ed: Demand didn’t cause power problem," 14 July 2019 The exact range of sanctions that could be applied is unclear. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "Turkey Receives Russian Missile System, Risking U.S. Sanctions," 12 July 2019 Police learned that the substance was only being applied in a construction zone as a coating used with gravel, notifying the caller within about 10 minutes. Thomas Jewell, cleveland.com, "Ailing jogger resorts to hitchhiking home: Moreland Hills Police Blotter," 12 July 2019 The plan indicates that the policy would be applied retroactively, meaning past sentences for drug offenses could be modified under the Douglass Plan. Jack Turman, CBS News, "How Pete Buttigieg aims to empower black Americans," 11 July 2019 Organic bait treatments will be applied beginning Thursday within a 1.5-mile radius from where the fruit flies were found, the county said. The Mercury News, "Invasive peach fruit flies found in Palo Alto," 10 July 2019 Throughout his career, Torn played troubled anti-hero characters — a description that could often be applied to his personal life. Alex Johnson, NBC News, "Rip Torn, actor known for 'Men in Black' and 'Larry Sanders,' dies at 88," 10 July 2019 What compressive force would need to be applied to hold on to the ball? Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Awesome Bowling Robot Is Surely Fake. Here's How to Tell," 10 July 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 Jul 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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