Definition of apply verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//əˈplaɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈplaɪ//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they apply
    BrE BrE//əˈplaɪ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈplaɪ//
    he / she / it applies
    BrE BrE//əˈplaɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈplaɪz//
    past simple applied
    BrE BrE//əˈplaɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈplaɪd//
    past participle applied
    BrE BrE//əˈplaɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈplaɪd//
    -ing form applying
    BrE BrE//əˈplaɪɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈplaɪɪŋ//
    Job interviews
    jump to other results
    for job/course
  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to make a formal request, usually in writing, for something such as a job, a place at college, university, etc. You should apply in person/by letter. apply for something to apply for a job/passport/grant apply to somebody/something (for something) to apply to a company/university apply to do something He has applied to join the army. Wordfinderapply, appoint, contract, dismiss, employ, job, pay, retire, work, workforce Wordfinderapply, appoint, candidate, CV, experience, interview, job description, qualification, reference, shortlist See related entries: Job interviews
  2. use
  3. 2  [transitive] to use something or make something work in a particular situation apply something to apply economic sanctions/political pressure apply something to something The new technology was applied to farming.
  4. paint/cream
  5. 3  [transitive] apply something (to something) to put or spread something such as paint, cream, etc. onto a surface Apply the cream sparingly to your face and neck. The glue should be applied to both surfaces.
  6. be relevant
  7. 4  [intransitive, transitive] (not used in the progressive tenses) to concern or relate to somebody/something Special conditions apply if you are under 18. apply to somebody/something What I am saying applies only to some of you. apply something to somebody/something The word ‘unexciting’ could never be applied to her novels.
  8. work hard
  9. 5[transitive] to work at something or study something very hard apply yourself You would pass your exams if you applied yourself. apply yourself/something to something/to doing something We applied our minds to finding a solution to our problem.
  10. press hard
  11. 6[transitive] to press on something hard with your hand, foot, etc. to make something work or have an effect on something apply something to apply the brakes (of a vehicle) apply something to something Pressure applied to the wound will stop the bleeding.
  12. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French aplier, from Latin applicare ‘fold, fasten to’, from ad- ‘to’ + plicare ‘to fold’.Extra examples Apply the insecticide sparingly. British companies are subject to international laws and the same applies to companies in Europe. I carefully applied a creamy foundation. Never apply the cleaning liquid directly to the surface. These principles apply equally in all cases. These restrictions do not apply to us. He’s applied to join the army. I decided to apply to Manchester University. Now is the time to apply the insights you have gained from your studies. Political pressure has been applied to the colony’s government in an attempt to win the contract. They have threatened to apply economic sanctions. We’re worried that the new fees might discourage poorer students from applying. You can apply by letter or on-line. to apply for a job/​passport/​grant
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: apply