Definition of apply in English:


Line breaks: apply
Pronunciation: /əˈplʌɪ

verb (applies, applying, applied)

  • 1 [no object] Make a formal application or request: you need to apply to the local authority for a grant [with infinitive]: a number of people have applied to vote by proxy
    More example sentences
    • I decided not to apply to vote in the recent election.
    • The electorate can apply to cast their vote at elections and the Government is now considering options to expand the scheme.
    • Any voter who wants to vote but doesn't want to go to the station in person can apply to vote by post.
  • 1.1Put oneself forward formally as a candidate for a job: she had applied for a number of positions
    More example sentences
    • And it will come as no surprise that a lot of candidates have probably applied for such position.
    • Peter emerged successful over five other candidates who had applied for the position.
    • The job will be offered to one of the 16 unsuccessful candidates who applied for the job last year.
  • 2 [no object] Be applicable or relevant: prices do not apply to public holiday periods normal rules apply
    More example sentences
    • If you then go, if you would, to the document that was given to me when I sought to find out the relevant rules that apply to lodging a group nomination.
    • By his actions he has shown that he believes the normal rules do not apply to him.
    • Check with your employer or plan administrator regarding the rules that apply to the qualified plan.
    be relevant, have relevance to, have a bearing on, bear on, appertain, pertain, relate, concern, be concerned with, have to do with; be pertinent, be significant, be apt, be apposite, be appropriate, be fitting, be germane; affect, involve, cover, deal with, touch
  • 2.1 [with object] Bring or put into operation or use: the oil industry has failed to apply appropriate standards of care
    More example sentences
    • ‘The ideas and innovations which have been brought together can be applied to any home,’ she said.
    • Also, the mission must be applied to the facility operations and the camp priorities.
    • Until now, that provision has never been applied to efforts to bring terrorist criminals to justice.
  • 3 [with object] Put or spread (a substance) on a surface: the sealer can be applied to new wood
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    • An oily, fingerprint-like substance was applied to the recording surfaces of two discs.
    • Densely rendered layers of pastel, mud and paint are applied to surfaces with images referencing the elements of fire, water, air and earth.
    • To control the growth of these organisms on boats, antifouling coatings are periodically applied to their surfaces.
    put on, rub in, spread, smear, cover with, work in
  • 3.1Use; exert: smooth over with a cloth, applying even pressure
    More example sentences
    • Where education does not prevent or correct the situation, the Coalition employs advocacy and applies additional pressure.
    • The blood stained the silken cloth as he applied pressure to the wound.
    • In recent times, going on strike to apply pressure for any grievance in favour of employees has become the in-thing.
    exert, administer, implement, use, exercise, employ, utilize, practise, put into practice, execute, prosecute, enact, carry out, put to use, bring into effect/play, bring to bear



More example sentences
  • It might seem odd at first; we might assume that people who believe in miracles are highly unlikely to become good scientists or even good appliers of science (which doctors are).
  • Equipment should include an extra suction machine, autotransfusion assembly, vascular clamps, and clip appliers.
  • Integration of the color team and paint appliers is crucial.


late Middle English: from Old French aplier, from Latin applicare 'fold, fasten to', from ad- 'to' + plicare 'to fold'.

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