See more synonyms for application on
  1. the act of putting to a special use or purpose: the application of common sense to a problem.
  2. the special use or purpose to which something is put: a technology having numerous applications never thought of by its inventors.
  3. the quality of being usable for a particular purpose or in a special way; relevance: This has no application to the case.
  4. the act of requesting.
  5. a written or spoken request or appeal for employment, admission, help, funds, etc.: to file an application for admission to a university.
  6. a form to be filled out by an applicant, as for a job or a driver's license.
  7. close attention; persistent effort: Application to one's studies is necessary.
  8. an act or instance of spreading on, rubbing in, or bringing into contact: the application of a compress to a wound; a second application of varnish.
  9. a salve, ointment, or the like, applied as a soothing or healing agent.
  10. Computers.
    1. a type of job or problem that lends itself to processing or solution by computer: Inventory control is a common business application.
    2. Also called application software, application program.a computer program used for a particular type of job or problem: Your new computer comes preloaded with applications.

Origin of application

1375–1425; late Middle English applicacio(u)n (< Middle French) < Latin applicātiōn- (stem of applicātiō), equivalent to applicāt(us) applied (past participle of applicāre to apply) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsin·ter·ap·pli·ca·tion, nounnon·ap·pli·ca·tion, nouno·ver·ap·pli·ca·tion, nounpre·ap·pli·ca·tion, nounre·ap·pli·ca·tion, noun

Synonyms for application

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for application

Contemporary Examples of application

Historical Examples of application

  • How so, I asked him, when that cannot wound without the application?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But this application has not met with the attention of one single soul.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Most persons hasten to deny this truth in its application to themselves.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • I am sure of Sir James at any time, and could make him renew his application by a line.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • But she guessed very well what inference was drawn from her application.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for application


  1. the act of applying to a particular purpose or use
  2. relevance or valuethe practical applications of space technology
  3. the act of asking for somethingan application for leave
  4. a verbal or written request, as for a job, etche filed his application
  5. diligent effort or concentrationa job requiring application
  6. something, such as a healing agent or lotion, that is applied, esp to the skin
  7. logic maths the process of determining the value of a function for a given argument
  8. short for application program, applications package
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for application

early 15c., "the bringing of something to bear on something else," from Old French aplicacion (14c.), from Latin applicationem (nominative applicatio) "a joining to, an attaching oneself to," noun of action from past participle stem of applicare (see apply). Meaning "sincere hard effort" is from c.1600. Meaning "a formal request to be hired for a job or paid position" is by 1851.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

application in Science


  1. A computer program with an interface, enabling people to use the computer as a tool to accomplish a specific task. Word processing, spreadsheet, and communications software are all examples of applications.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.