• synonyms

application program

or applications program

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  1. Computers. a program used for a particular application (opposed to system program).
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Also called application software, applications software.
Related formsapplication programmer, nounapplication programming, noun


  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.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


British Dictionary definitions for application software


  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
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application program

  1. a computer program that is written and designed for a specific need or purpose
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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 software



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

application software 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.