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apply Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
    employ; use; utilize; utilise.
    • use your head!
    • we only use Spanish at home
    • I can't use this tool
    • Apply a magnetic field here
    • This thinking was applied to many projects
    • How do you utilize this tool?
    • I apply this rule to get good results
    • use the plastic bags to store the food
    • He doesn't know how to use a computer
  2. verb be pertinent or relevant or applicable
    hold; go for.
    • The same laws apply to you!
    • This theory holds for all irrational numbers
    • The same rules go for everyone
  3. verb ask (for something)
    • He applied for a leave of absence
    • She applied for college
    • apply for a job
  4. verb apply to a surface
    put on.
    • She applied paint to the back of the house
    • Put on make-up!
  5. verb be applicable to; as to an analysis
    lend oneself.
    • This theory lends itself well to our new data
  6. verb give or convey physically
    give.
    • She gave him First Aid
    • I gave him a punch in the nose
  7. verb avail oneself to
    use; practice.
    • apply a principle
    • practice a religion
    • use care when going down the stairs
    • use your common sense
    • practice non-violent resistance
  8. verb ensure observance of laws and rules;
    implement; enforce.
    • Apply the rules to everyone
  9. verb refer (a word or name) to a person or thing
    • He applied this racial slur to me!
  10. verb apply oneself to
    • Please apply yourself to your homework
WordNet

Ap*ply" transitive verb
Etymology
OF. aplier, F. appliquer, fr. L. applicare to join, fix, or attach to; ad + plicare to fold, to twist together. See Applicant, Ply.
Wordforms
imperfect & past participle Applied present participle & verbal noun Applying
Definitions
  1. To lay or place; to put or adjust (one thing to another); -- with to; as, to apply the hand to the breast; to apply medicaments to a diseased part of the body.
    He said, and the sword his throat applied. Dryden.
  2. To put to use; to use or employ for a particular purpose, or in a particular case; to appropriate; to devote; as, to apply money to the payment of a debt.
  3. To make use of, declare, or pronounce, as suitable, fitting, or relative; as, to apply the testimony to the case; to apply an epithet to a person.
    Yet God at last To Satan, first in sin, his doom applied. Milton.
  4. To fix closely; to engage and employ diligently, or with attention; to attach; to incline.
    Apply thine heart unto instruction. Prov. xxiii. 12.
  5. To direct or address. R.
    Sacred vows . . . applied to grisly Pluto. Pope.
  6. To betake; to address; to refer; -- used reflexively.
    I applied myself to him for help. Johnson.
  7. To busy; to keep at work; to ply. Obs.
    She was skillful in applying his "humors." Sir P. Sidney.
  8. To visit. Obs.
    And he applied each place so fast. Chapman.
Ap*ply" intransitive verb
Definitions
  1. To suit; to agree; to have some connection, agreement, or analogy; as, this argument applies well to the case.
  2. To make request; to have recourse with a view to gain something; to make application. (to); to solicit; as, to apply to a friend for information.
  3. To ply; to move. R.
    I heard the sound of an oar applying swiftly through the water. T. Moore.
  4. To apply or address one's self; to give application; to attend closely (to).

Webster 1913