applicant (for something) a person who makes a formal request for something (= applies for it), especially for a job, a place at a college or university, etc. There were over 500 applicants for the job. Successful applicants will receive notification within the week. See related entries: University people Word Origin early 19th cent.: from application + -ant.Extra examples Eight applicants were shortlisted. Grant payments will be made to suitable applicants. The advertisement attracted a number of applicants. The company will seek applicants nationwide. There were over fifty applicants for the job. Unsuccessful applicants may appeal against the decision. software that lets employers screen job applicants The factory was accused of turning away job applicants who belong to a union. What can be done about the falling number of applicants to medical schools?