American English

Definition of apply verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they apply
    he / she / it applies
    past simple applied
    -ing form applying
    jump to other results
    for job/school
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to make a formal request, usually in writing, for something such as a job, admission to (= permission to enter) a college or university, etc. You should apply in person/in writing. apply for something to apply for a job/passport/grant apply to somebody/something (for something) to apply to a company/college apply to do something He has applied to join the army.
  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 lotion 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 someone or 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.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: apply