verb (used with object), ap·plied, ap·ply·ing.

verb (used without object), ap·plied, ap·ply·ing.

Origin of apply

1350–1400; Middle English ap(p)lien < Anglo-French, Old French ap(p)lier < Latin applicāre, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + plicāre to fold; see ply2
Related formsap·pli·a·ble, adjectiveap·pli·a·ble·ness, nounap·pli·a·bly, adverbap·pli·er, nounpre·ap·ply, verb (used with object), pre·ap·plied, pre·ap·ply··ap·ply, verb, re·ap·plied, re·ap·ply·ing.un·ap·pli·a·ble, adjectiveun·ap·pli·a·bly, adverb

Synonyms for apply Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for applies

Contemporary Examples of applies

Historical Examples of applies

  • Now, this applies only so far as individuals are indicated, and it is so far right.

  • The same principle (by the way) applies to the difficult problem of wives.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • This applies to individuals just as truly as it does to mankind.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • That applies especially to concepts borrowed of the white men.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • What Mrs. Chisholm described to Mrs. Stowe as the secret of her success, applies to all life.


    Samuel Smiles

British Dictionary definitions for applies


verb -plies, -plying or -plied

(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
Derived Formsapplier, noun

Word Origin for apply

C14: from Old French aplier, from Latin applicāre to attach to
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 applies



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper