(1)   Ask (for something)
"He applied for a leave of absence"
"She applied for college"
"Apply for a job"
(2)   Refer (a word or name) to a person or thing
"He applied this racial slur to me!"
(3)   Put into service; make work or employ (something) 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"
(4)   Apply to a surface
"She applied paint to the back of the house"
"Put on make-up!"
(5)   Give or convey physically
"She gave him First Aid"
"I gave him a punch in the nose"
(6)   Ensure observance of laws and rules
"Apply the rules to everyone";
(7)   Avail oneself to
"Apply a principle"
"Practice a religion"
"Use care when going down the stairs"
"Use your common sense"
"Practice non-violent resistance"
(8)   Apply oneself to
"Please apply yourself to your homework"
(9)   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"
(10)   Be applicable to; as to an analysis
"This theory lends itself well to our new data"


From , from ; from + . See , .


  1. 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.
      1. 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.
      2. 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.
        • Milton,
          Yet God at last To Satan, first in sin, his doom applied.
      3. To fix closely; to engage and employ diligently, or with attention; to attach; to incline.
        • 1611, Authorized King James Version, Proverbs 23:12,
          Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
      4. To betake; to address; to refer;—used reflexively.
        • Johnson,
          I applied myself to him for help.
      5. To submit oneself as a candidate for.
        I recently applied for a job as a bartender at the tavern.
        Most of the colleges she applied to were ones she thought she had a good chance of getting into.
        Many of them don't know it, but almost a third of the inmates are eligible to apply for parole or work-release programs.
      6. To pertain or be relevant to a specified individual or group.
        That rule only applies to foreigners.