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 applying

Contemporary Examples of applying

Historical Examples of applying

  • And—perhaps you'd better not say you are applying until we find out if there is a vacancy.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Your applying, however, to Reginald can be productive only of good to all parties.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • Mr. Corbet can be of little service to me at present; at least I should be shy of applying.

  • Then it is iced by applying warm water with a bit of hairy deerskin.

  • I must, in applying for a place, give an account of my character and a list of my accomplishments.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for applying


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 applying



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