Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To bring into nearness or contact with something; put on, upon, or to.
  • intransitive verb To put to or adapt for a special use.
  • intransitive verb To put into action.
  • intransitive verb To engage (oneself) in a task with close attention or persistence.
  • intransitive verb To be pertinent or relevant.
  • intransitive verb To request or seek assistance, employment, or admission.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To lay on; bring into physical proximity or contact: as, to apply the hand to the breast; to apply medicaments to a diseased part of the body; to apply a match to powder.
  • To bring into contact with particulars or with a particular case, as a principle, law, or rule; bring to bear upon; put into practical operation.
  • To use or employ for a particular case, or devote to a particular purpose: as, to apply a sum of money to the payment of a debt.
  • To connect or associate with, or refer to, some person or thing as applicable or pertinent; use as suitable or relative to some person or thing: as, to apply the testimony to the case.
  • . To attribute; refer; ascribe.
  • To give with earnestness or assiduity; employ with attention; devote: as, “apply thine heart unto instruction,” Prov. xxiii. 12.
  • . To address or direct.
  • . To be busy about; devote one's self with diligent vigor to; ply (which see).
  • . To bend (the mind); reflexively, to comply; conform; be subservient to.
  • . To visit.
  • Synonyms To place (on). To appropriate (to). To turn, bend, direct. Addict, Devote, Apply. See addict.
  • . To be in close contiguity.
  • To have application; be applicable; have some connection, agreement, analogy, or reference: as, this argument applies well to the case; the remarks were not meant to apply to you.
  • To make application or request; ask; have recourse with a view to gain something: as, to apply for an office, information, etc.
  • To give attention; turn the mind.
  • In astrology, of a heavenly body, to approach to the conjunction or aspect of another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To lay or place; to put or adjust (one thing to another); -- with to
  • transitive verb To put to use; to use or employ for a particular purpose, or in a particular case; to appropriate; to devote.
  • transitive verb To make use of, declare, or pronounce, as suitable, fitting, or relative
  • transitive verb To fix closely; to engage and employ diligently, or with attention; to attach; to incline.
  • transitive verb rare To direct or address.
  • transitive verb To betake; to address; to refer; -- used reflexively.
  • transitive verb obsolete To busy; to keep at work; to ply.
  • transitive verb obsolete To visit.
  • transitive verb See under Chemistry.
  • transitive verb See under Mathematics.
  • intransitive verb To suit; to agree; to have some connection, agreement, or analogy.
  • intransitive verb To make request; to have recourse with a view to gain something; to make application. (to); to solicit.
  • intransitive verb rare To ply; to move.
  • intransitive verb To apply or address one's self; to give application; to attend closely (to).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive 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.
  • verb transitive 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.
  • verb transitive 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.
  • verb transitive To fix closely; to engage and employ diligently, or with attention; to attach; to incline.
  • verb transitive To betake; to address; to refer;—used reflexively.
  • verb intransitive To submit oneself as a candidate for.
  • verb intransitive To pertain or be relevant to a specified individual or group.
  • adjective Alternative spelling of appley.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb be pertinent or relevant or applicable
  • verb avail oneself to
  • verb put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
  • verb give or convey physically
  • verb be applicable to; as to an analysis
  • verb apply oneself to

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English applien, from Old French aplier, from Latin applicāre, to affix : ad-, ad- + plicāre, to fold together; see plek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French aplier, (French appliquer), from Latin applicō ("join, fix, or attach to"); from ad + plicō ("fold, twist together"). See applicant, ply.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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