- to make use of as relevant, suitable, or pertinent: to apply a theory to a problem.
- to put to use, especially for a particular purpose: to apply pressure to open a door.
- to bring into action; use; employ: He applied the brakes and skidded to a stop.
- to use a label or other designation: Don't apply any such term to me.
- to use for or assign to a specific purpose: He applied a portion of his salary each week to savings.
- to put into effect: They applied the rules to new members only.
- to devote or employ diligently or with close attention: to apply one's mind to a problem; to apply oneself to a task.
- to place in contact with; lay or spread on: to apply paint to a wall; to apply a bandage to a wound.
- to bring into physical contact with or close proximity to: to apply a match to gunpowder.
- to credit to, as an account: to apply $10 to his account at the store.
- to be pertinent, suitable, or relevant: The argument applies to the case. The theory doesn't apply.
- to make an application or request; ask: to apply for a job; to apply for a raise.
- to lay or spread on: The plastic coating is easy to apply on any surface.
- to be placed or remain in contact: This paint doesn't apply very easily.
Origin of apply
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for apply
She began teaching herself how to apply makeup through books and videos.Inside A Finishing School for Transwomen
December 27, 2014
The idea was to identify what they are and apply them to different snacks, beverages, and foods.The Science of Ingredient Innovation
December 15, 2014
Based on our conversation, he decided to do more research and apply to at least one small selective college.Forget the Kids Who Can’t Get In; What About Those Who Don’t Even Apply?
December 9, 2014
“This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently,” Obama said.Will 5 Million Undocumented Immigrants Take Obama's Tough Love Immigration Deal?
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
November 21, 2014
Crooks can use it to apply for credit, file fake claims with insurers, or buy drugs and medical equipment that can be resold.How Your Pacemaker Will Get Hacked
Kaiser Health News
November 17, 2014
If you ever want to borrow this boat, you'll have to apply to me.Brave and Bold
He did apply, and at the end of a month, no answer had been returned to his communication.
I did not, sir, apply it to a gentleman; I applied it to Mr Chatterton.
In my case, the minister himself proposed to apply for my testimonials.
You may be almost the first girl to apply, or you may be among the latest, but not the too latest.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
- (tr) to put to practical use; utilize; employ
- (intr) to be relevant, useful, or appropriate
- (tr) to cause to come into contact with; put onto
- (intr often foll by for) to put in an application or request
- (tr often foll by to) to devote (oneself, one's efforts) with diligence
- (tr) to bring into operation or usethe police only applied the law to aliens
- (tr) to refer (a word, epithet, etc) to a person or thing
Word Origin and History for apply
late 14c., "to put (one's faculties, etc.) to some task or career," late 14c., from Old French aploiier "apply, use, attach" (12c., Modern French appliquer), from Latin applicare "attach to, join, connect;" figuratively, "devote (oneself) to, give attention," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + plicare "fold" (see ply (v.1)). The etymological sense is "bring things in contact with one another." Of lotions, from early 15c. Meaning "seek a job by submitting an application for one" is from 1851. A by-form applicate is recorded from 1530s. Related: Applied; applying.