Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to apply: apply yourself
v. -plied, -ply•ing. v.t.
If you apply to have something or apply for something, you write asking formally to be allowed to have it or do it.
Apply has another meaning. If you apply something to a surface, you put it onto the surface or rub it into it. This is a formal use of apply, which often occurs in written instructions.
In conversation and in most kinds of writing, don't say that you apply something. You say that you put it on, rub it on, rub it in, or spread it on.
Past participle: applied
|Verb||1.||apply - put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose; "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"|
dedicate, devote, commit, consecrate, give - give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause; "She committed herself to the work of God"; "give one's talents to a good cause"; "consecrate your life to the church"
play - employ in a game or in a specific position; "They played him on first base"
play - use or move; "I had to play my queen"
pull out all the stops - use all resources available; "The organizers pulled out all the stops for the centennial meeting"
put, assign - attribute or give; "She put too much emphasis on her the last statement"; "He put all his efforts into this job"; "The teacher put an interesting twist to the interpretation of the story"
ply - use diligently; "ply your wits!"
address - address or apply oneself to something, direct one's efforts towards something, such as a question
waste - use inefficiently or inappropriately; "waste heat"; "waste a joke on an unappreciative audience"
misapply, misuse - apply to a wrong thing or person; apply badly or incorrectly; "The words are misapplied in this context"; "You are misapplying the name of this religious group"
avail - use to one's advantage; "He availed himself of the available resources"
exploit, work - use or manipulate to one's advantage; "He exploit the new taxation system"; "She knows how to work the system"; "he works his parents for sympathy"
strain, extend - use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity; "He really extended himself when he climbed Kilimanjaro"; "Don't strain your mind too much"
enjoy - have benefit from; "enjoy privileges"
take - travel or go by means of a certain kind of transportation, or a certain route; "He takes the bus to work"; "She takes Route 1 to Newark"
share - use jointly or in common
implement - apply in a manner consistent with its purpose or design; "implement a procedure"
practice, use, apply - avail oneself to; "apply a principle"; "practice a religion"; "use care when going down the stairs"; "use your common sense"; "practice non-violent resistance"
|2.||apply - be pertinent or relevant or applicable; "The same laws apply to you!"; "This theory holds for all irrational numbers"; "The same rules go for everyone"|
concern, have to do with, pertain, bear on, come to, touch on, refer, relate, touch - be relevant to; "There were lots of questions referring to her talk"; "My remark pertained to your earlier comments"
|3.||apply - ask (for something); "He applied for a leave of absence"; "She applied for college"; "apply for a job"|
call for, request, bespeak, quest - express the need or desire for; ask for; "She requested an extra bed in her room"; "She called for room service"
|4.||apply - apply to a surface; "She applied paint to the back of the house"; "Put on make-up!"|
daub - apply to a surface; "daub paint onto the wall"
cover - provide with a covering or cause to be covered; "cover her face with a handkerchief"; "cover the child with a blanket"; "cover the grave with flowers"
gum - cover, fill, fix or smear with or as if with gum; "if you gum the tape it is stronger"
dress - put a dressing on; "dress the salads"
cream - put on cream, as on one's face or body; "She creams her face every night"
cold-cream - put cold cream on one's face
putty - apply putty in order to fix or fill; "putty the window sash"
sponge on - apply with a sponge; "The painter sponged on his washes"
|5.||apply - be applicable to; as to an analysis; "This theory lends itself well to our new data"|
|6.||apply - give or convey physically; "She gave him First Aid"; "I gave him a punch in the nose"|
deal out, dish out, dispense, distribute, dole out, mete out, parcel out, shell out, lot, administer, allot, deal - administer or bestow, as in small portions; "administer critical remarks to everyone present"; "dole out some money"; "shell out pocket money for the children"; "deal a blow to someone"; "the machine dispenses soft drinks"
give - give (as medicine); "I gave him the drug"
tread - apply (the tread) to a tire
administer - perform (a church sacrament) ritually; "administer the last unction"
|7.||apply - avail oneself to; "apply a principle"; "practice a religion"; "use care when going down the stairs"; "use your common sense"; "practice non-violent resistance"|
apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize - put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose; "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"
follow - adhere to or practice; "These people still follow the laws of their ancient religion"
|8.||apply - ensure observance of laws and rules; "Apply the rules to everyone";|
compel, obligate, oblige - force somebody to do something; "We compel all students to fill out this form"
execute, run - carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine; "Run the dishwasher"; "run a new program on the Mac"; "the computer executed the instruction"
execute - carry out the legalities of; "execute a will or a deed"
|9.||apply - refer (a word or name) to a person or thing; "He applied this racial slur to me!"|
|10.||apply - apply oneself to; "Please apply yourself to your homework"|
to apply a match to sth → prender fuego a algo con una cerilla
to apply pressure on sth → ejercer presión sobre algo
to apply pressure on sb (fig) → presionar a algn
cross out what does not apply → táchese lo que no proceda
to apply to (= be applicable to) → ser aplicable a, referirse a
the law applies to everybody → la ley es aplicable a or de obligado cumplimiento para todos
this rule doesn't apply to us → esta norma no nos afecta
are you applying? → ¿te vas a presentar?
"please apply at the office" → diríjanse a la oficina
to apply to sb → dirigirse a algn, acudir a algn
to apply for [+ scholarship, grant, assistance] → solicitar, pedir; [+ job] → solicitar, presentarse a
"patent applied for" → patente en trámite
to apply to sb for sth → solicitar algo a algn
see also within
to apply sth to sth [+ theory, technique] → appliquer qch à qch; [+ pressure] → exercer une pression sur, faire pression sur qn
to apply to sb [+ council, person, governing body] → s'adresser à qn
to apply for sth [+ permit, grant, membership] → faire une demande en vue d'obtenir qch; [+ job, post] → poser sa candidature pour qch, postuler à qch
to apply to do sth → postuler pour faire qch, poser sa candidature pour faire qch
to apply one's knowledge to sth → servirsi delle proprie nozioni per qc
to apply one's mind to a problem → concentrarsi su un problema
to apply o.s. (to one's studies) → applicarsi (nello studio)
to apply the brakes → azionare i freni, frenare
the law applies to everybody → la legge è valida or vale per tutti