View synonyms for apply


[ uh-plahy ]

verb (used with object)

, ap·plied, ap·ply·ing.
  1. to make use of as relevant, suitable, or pertinent:

    to apply a theory to a problem.

  2. to put to use, especially for a particular purpose:

    to apply pressure to open a door.

  3. to bring into action; use; employ:

    He applied the brakes and skidded to a stop.

    Synonyms: utilize

  4. to use a label or other designation:

    Don't apply any such term to me.

  5. to use for or assign to a specific purpose:

    He applied a portion of his salary each week to savings.

    Synonyms: dedicate, assign, allot, appropriate

  6. to put into effect:

    They applied the rules to new members only.

  7. to devote or employ diligently or with close attention:

    to apply one's mind to a problem;

    to apply oneself to a task.

  8. to place in contact with; lay or spread on:

    to apply paint to a wall;

    to apply a bandage to a wound.

  9. to bring into physical contact with or close proximity to:

    to apply a match to gunpowder.

  10. to credit to, as an account:

    to apply $10 to his account at the store.

verb (used without object)

, ap·plied, ap·ply·ing.
  1. to be pertinent, suitable, or relevant:

    The argument applies to the case.

    The theory doesn't apply.

  2. to make an application or request; ask:

    to apply for a job;

    to apply for a raise.

    Synonyms: entreat, sue, petition

  3. to lay or spread on:

    The plastic coating is easy to apply on any surface.

  4. to be placed or remain in contact:

    This paint doesn't apply very easily.


/ əˈplaɪ /


  1. tr to put to practical use; utilize; employ
  2. intr to be relevant, useful, or appropriate
  3. tr to cause to come into contact with; put onto
  4. introften foll byfor to put in an application or request
  5. troften foll byto to devote (oneself, one's efforts) with diligence
  6. tr to bring into operation or use

    the police only applied the law to aliens

  7. tr to refer (a word, epithet, etc) to a person or thing

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Derived Forms

  • apˈplier, noun

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Other Words From

  • ap·plia·ble adjective
  • ap·plia·ble·ness noun
  • ap·plia·bly adverb
  • ap·plier noun
  • preap·ply verb (used with object) preapplied preapplying
  • reap·ply verb reapplied reapplying
  • unap·plia·ble adjective
  • unap·plia·bly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of apply1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English ap(p)lien, from Anglo-French, Old French ap(p)lier, from Latin applicāre, equivalent to ap- ap- 1( def ) + plicāre “to fold”; ply 2( def )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of apply1

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

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Example Sentences

My daughter uses the disposable gloves when she applies oily hand cream to her own hands.

So there’s Wilson, stirring up drama this week in an interview with Dan Patrick, detailing the nearly 400 sacks he has taken in his first nine seasons and applying pressure on the Seahawks in an uncharacteristic manner.

This can be accomplished by the same pauses applied on a larger scale — namely, calls less frequently returned and finding that you have less time to spend with her.

The Cavaliers continued to apply pressure on both ends of the court.

Bidding strategies are also available at a portfolio level, allowing you to apply machine learning to optimize all of your campaigns.

She began teaching herself how to apply makeup through books and videos.

And if he is re-elected, the House advisory rules prohibiting him from voting no longer apply.

His words apply not only to the Roman Curia at the Vatican but to the entire Church throughout the world.

The idea was to identify what they are and apply them to different snacks, beverages, and foods.

Based on our conversation, he decided to do more research and apply to at least one small selective college.

This, however, did not apply to the waters lying directly around the Poloe and Flatland groups.

We may apply to it with advantage the spectacles of social reform, but what the socialist offers us is total blindness.

But the hours are made longer or shorter according to whether too many or too few young people apply to come in.

Let dry, apply a cover-glass, and run glacial acetic acid underneath it.

This rule however does not apply to travelers walking along a rural highway.


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