Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: aplier, from Latin applicare, from ad- 'to' + plicare 'to fold'


ap‧ply S1 W1 past tense and past participle applied, present participle applying, third person singular applies


[intransitive] to make a formal request, usually written, for something such as a job, a place in a university, or permission to do something
apply for
She applied for a job with the local newspaper.
We need to apply for planning permission to build a garage.
apply to
I applied to four universities and was accepted by all of them.


[intransitive,transitive not in progressive] to have an effect on or to concern a particular person, group, or situation
apply to
Do the same rules apply to part-time workers?
The offer only applies to flights from London and Manchester.


[transitive] to use something such as a method, idea, or law in a particular situation, activity, or process
apply something to something
New technology is being applied to almost every industrial process.
These ideas are often difficult to apply in practice.

apply yourself

to work hard at something, especially with a lot of attention for a long time:
Stephen would do well if only he applied himself.
apply yourself to
Over the next months, he applied himself to improving the technique.

make something work

[transitive] to make something such as a piece of equipment operate, usually by pushing or pressing something:
apply the brakes

spread paint/liquid etc

[transitive] to put or spread something such as paint, liquid, or medicine onto a surface:
Apply the cream evenly over the skin.

apply force/pressure

to push on something

use a word

[transitive] to use a particular word or name to describe something or someone:
The term 'mat' can be applied to any small rug.

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