Definition of apply in English:


See synonyms for apply

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verbverb applies, verb applying, verb applied

  • 1no object Make a formal application or request.

    ‘you need to apply to the local authorities for a grant’
    • ‘a number of people have applied to vote by proxy’
    • ‘I decided not to apply to vote in the recent election.’
    • ‘The electorate can apply to cast their vote at elections and the Government is now considering options to expand the scheme.’
    • ‘Any voter who wants to vote but doesn't want to go to the station in person can apply to vote by post.’
    • ‘Under its provisions, parties are able to produce and distribute their own version of the postal ballot form to apply to vote by post.’
    • ‘Anyone who is entitled to vote and isn't on the register already can apply to get on the Supplement.’
    • ‘The chief state solicitor would then apply to the High Court for arrest warrants for the three, which would trigger a hearing of the court.’
    • ‘Any volunteers who help gather signatures must be registered voters and must apply to volunteer.’
    • ‘Under the scheme, firms that apply to register before September 30 will not be penalised.’
    • ‘Health bosses will finally apply to register them with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.’
    • ‘She has contacted the Charity Commission to apply to be a registered charity.’
    • ‘Couples wishing to enter a civil union have to apply to the local registry for a licence.’
    • ‘Prosecution lawyers now have two or three days in which they can apply to appeal against the decision.’
    • ‘Women artists working in all disciplines are encouraged to apply and may request up to $2,000.’
    • ‘In exceptional circumstances a child can instruct a solicitor to apply to the Court for the right to see their family, including their brothers or sisters.’
    • ‘So media houses must apply to be registered, and furnish the government with certain details as requested on the forms provided.’
    • ‘In that case the petitioning creditor had agreed to apply to withdraw the petition on terms that the debtor paid off the petition debt by instalments.’
    • ‘Parents whose children have been rejected from their preferred schools can apply to appeals tribunals for the decision to reviewed.’
    • ‘You have to apply to the Employment Appeals Tribunal within six months.’
    • ‘You may apply to register only for the voting district in which you are resident.’
    • ‘That might remove the need for applicants to apply to the appeal authority later on.’
    put in an application, put in, try, bid, appeal, petition, make an entreaty, sue, register, audition
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Put oneself forward formally as a candidate for a job.
      ‘she had applied for a number of positions’
      • ‘And it will come as no surprise that a lot of candidates have probably applied for such position.’
      • ‘Peter emerged successful over five other candidates who had applied for the position.’
      • ‘The job will be offered to one of the 16 unsuccessful candidates who applied for the job last year.’
      • ‘Likewise, appointments panels may see only three or four of the 200 candidates who have applied for a vacancy.’
      • ‘You have two candidates with similar credentials who have applied for one position.’
      • ‘As it turned out, none of them actually applied for the job, they were just put forward by their caseworker.’
      • ‘I applied for a job in that august educational institution known to locals as The Uni.’
      • ‘I applied for jobs I quite fancied, many more that I didn't but was supposed to, and at least once a year I had to apply for my own job.’
      • ‘He said he had applied for an advertised post, failed to get the job but had then been contacted later on and invited to apply for a different post.’
      • ‘The Government allowed immigrants who had applied for asylum before that date to apply for work.’
      • ‘So he applies for the job and he's the only guy who's applied for the job so he gets it.’
      • ‘Geraldton Secondary College's new Highbury campus principal was looking for a new challenge when she applied for the position.’
      • ‘She applied for a teaching position with little optimism and was thrilled when she was eventually told she had beaten off competition from younger applicants to secure the post.’
      • ‘A total of 25 people applied for the job the next morning.’
      • ‘In 2000, when the airline hired stewardesses in South Korea, more than 700 young women applied for the positions.’
      put in an application, put in, try, bid, appeal, petition, make an entreaty, sue, register, audition
      View synonyms
  • 2no object Be applicable or relevant.

    ‘normal rules apply’
    • ‘the offer does not apply to unionized workers’
    • ‘If you then go, if you would, to the document that was given to me when I sought to find out the relevant rules that apply to lodging a group nomination.’
    • ‘By his actions he has shown that he believes the normal rules do not apply to him.’
    • ‘Check with your employer or plan administrator regarding the rules that apply to the qualified plan.’
    • ‘Parliament intended that the authorisation of relevant acts was to apply to existing demonstrations.’
    • ‘Due to the crackdown on money laundering, stringent rules now apply to banks when customers do business involving even small sums of money.’
    • ‘The normal wear and tear rules apply to furnished holiday lettings.’
    • ‘New federal ethics rules apply to all companies, regardless of size.’
    • ‘But cops must play by rules which don't apply to international relations.’
    • ‘They think laws don't apply to them, rules were meant for them to break and everyone should move out of their way when the come through.’
    • ‘Parents probably have a few rules that apply to you, so respect that.’
    • ‘Note that the bandwidth limit does not apply to requests originating from the same machine.’
    • ‘That free vote will apply to ministers and whips as well as to back-benchers.’
    • ‘Deductibles may apply to each claim and certain coverage may be limited.’
    • ‘The scheme will apply to civil claims for faulty goods and services as well as personal injury claims and damage to property up to an agreed figure.’
    • ‘Both branches of the doctrine apply to these claims.’
    • ‘However, the extent to which these findings would apply to women seeking the presidency or vice presidency is unknown.’
    • ‘This noble mission, however, does not currently apply to people who seek only subjective perfection.’
    • ‘Such a situation would not apply to the appeal proposal.’
    • ‘However, such relativism is self-refuting since what it states about knowledge must equally apply to that claim itself.’
    • ‘Accelerated procedure is intended to apply to claims which are certified.’
    be relevant, have relevance to, have a bearing on, bear on, appertain, pertain, relate, concern, be concerned with, have to do with
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    1. 2.1with object Bring or put into operation or practical use.
      ‘the oil industry has failed to apply appropriate standards of care’
      • ‘‘The ideas and innovations which have been brought together can be applied to any home,’ she said.’
      • ‘Also, the mission must be applied to the facility operations and the camp priorities.’
      • ‘Until now, that provision has never been applied to efforts to bring terrorist criminals to justice.’
      • ‘When productivity as an economic metric is applied to the whole operation, the welfare of the individual animal is ignored.’
      • ‘The same operation is applied to all of the elements of the structure by the simultaneous operation of the vector processors.’
      • ‘European standards were applied to the development of the administration, the economy, culture and the army.’
      • ‘It was not appropriate to apply a higher standard than the ‘real possibility’ test.’
      • ‘You apply the appropriate standards of behaviour and again you consider all the circumstances.’
      • ‘His Honour applied the appropriate civil standard of proof appropriately understood - and so on.’
      • ‘We applied an appropriate standard technique of administering the drug into a vein of the forearm.’
      • ‘Every thief applies a standard of behavior towards others that he would never allow to be applied to himself.’
      • ‘Standard precautions are applied to all patients being cared for in health care facilities, regardless of diagnoses.’
      • ‘A conservative standard was applied to making equity determinations.’
      • ‘By the mid-1890s, such rhythms were being applied to both the standard form of the march and to the song form.’
      • ‘A bootstrap method is then applied to estimate the standard deviations of the regression coefficients.’
      • ‘But these safety standards are not applied to the aerial spraying in Colombia.’
      • ‘So while the navy will be recruiting fewer men and women, higher standards will be applied to those trying to join up.’
      • ‘The highest artistic standards would still be applied to the top groups and performers by their cognoscenti audiences and critics.’
      • ‘The question is whether Australian standards should be applied to them.’
      • ‘In short, trauma counselling is not a standard medicine to be applied to everyone regardless of need.’
      administer, deliver, issue, discharge, deal, bestow, dole out, mete out
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  • 3with object Put or spread (something) on a surface.

    ‘the sealer can be applied to new wood’
    • ‘An oily, fingerprint-like substance was applied to the recording surfaces of two discs.’
    • ‘Densely rendered layers of pastel, mud and paint are applied to surfaces with images referencing the elements of fire, water, air and earth.’
    • ‘To control the growth of these organisms on boats, antifouling coatings are periodically applied to their surfaces.’
    • ‘When used with insulated glass panels, the coating is applied to the outer surface of the inner skin.’
    • ‘After the film is applied to a surface, the emulsion particles coagulate a form a stable film.’
    • ‘The coatings are applied to the interior surface of the window.’
    • ‘The method is similar to what is called dry fresco in Europe, as the paints are applied to a dry surface, not wet plaster as in true fresco.’
    • ‘Once the paint is applied to a surface, it should be able to stay there.’
    • ‘Low emission coatings are applied to the inside surface which reduce heat loss through the glass.’
    • ‘A mixture of bean paste and lime is applied to stencil patterns on the cotton before it is dyed with indigo.’
    • ‘Cleaning substances were applied to the faux mink, the faucets, the phone and the co-pilot's hands.’
    • ‘The first step is to prepare the surface by applying a mixture of mortar, sand and molasses.’
    • ‘The solution is to pressure wash the surface, then apply a cementaceous coating that reduces moisture absorption.’
    • ‘Mould and mildew can be removed from bathroom surfaces by applying white vinegar.’
    • ‘Clean both surfaces and apply a light coating of grease upon reassembly.’
    • ‘A roller is used to apply ink to the surface, which adheres to the drawn lines, but is repelled by the rest of the damp surface.’
    • ‘Then the mixture is applied to a cleaned device surface and activated by ultraviolet light.’
    • ‘The other, the sport condition, affects the way the oil is applied on the surface of the lanes.’
    • ‘A thin covering of pure silver is applied to a base metal, often copper or nickel, by means of electrolysis.’
    • ‘An aluminum bronze coating is applied to one of the parts.’
    put on, rub in, spread, smear, cover with, work in
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    1. 3.1Administer.
      ‘smooth over with a cloth, applying even pressure’
      • ‘Where education does not prevent or correct the situation, the Coalition employs advocacy and applies additional pressure.’
      • ‘The blood stained the silken cloth as he applied pressure to the wound.’
      • ‘In recent times, going on strike to apply pressure for any grievance in favour of employees has become the in-thing.’
      • ‘The practitioner's feet are used to apply pressure along the recipient's back, arms and legs.’
      • ‘Pressure is constantly applied on school administrations to attract greater numbers or face stiff funding cuts.’
      • ‘As well as finger pressure, practitioners may use elbows, knees and even feet to apply pressure or massage to the correct points.’
      • ‘By mechanically applying an even pressure over the body, the squeeze chair creates a calming effect without the terror and over-stimulation of human touch.’
      • ‘But we were applying such pressure and supporting each other well at that time - so scores were inevitable.’
      • ‘Aware that families missing loved ones are in more of a hurry than they are, experienced rebel negotiators have become expert in applying psychological pressure.’
      • ‘With college teachers and parents applying pressure on their wards to get high grades, soft skills such as communication and presentation have taken a backseat.’
      • ‘I will not be applying any pressure on Liam, it will solely be his decision.’
      • ‘They may be applying diplomatic pressure behind the scenes, but there comes a time when that is inadequate.’
      • ‘The visitors had discovered what the home side had singularly failed to do in the first half, that long territory guzzling kicks using the wind and slope would apply the pressure.’
      • ‘He called on the Government to apply the maximum pressure on the commission to come to an early agreement so that those low-income farmers can be paid.’
      • ‘And, therefore, I feel now is the time to say we are against appeasement, and we have to apply pressure.’
      • ‘But when I apply pressure nothing comes out and the flames grow even more ferocious, enveloping the room in what might be a derelict tenement.’
      • ‘I mean, it's that same old thing about the supermarket check-out, where children will apply a lot of pressure to get their own way too.’
      • ‘It is a very complicated process where we have to apply pressure.’
      • ‘Using blended oils, the masseur skilfully used his palms and fingertips to apply pressure in a series of flowing movements across my body.’
      • ‘It's up to them to apply pressure on the government - and on the newspapers to which they subscribe - to stop the threat.’
      exert, administer, implement, use, exercise, employ, utilize, practise, put into practice, execute, prosecute, enact, carry out, put to use, bring into effect, bring into play, bring to bear
      View synonyms
  • 4apply oneselfGive one's full attention to a task; work hard.

    ‘for two years, she applied herself to her studies with dedication’
    • ‘The fact is girls study harder and apply themselves to tasks more.’
    • ‘He said: ‘I want head teachers to be tough with teachers within their schools to make sure that the teachers are applying themselves to their tasks.’’
    • ‘From the Eagles' perspective, the run into the finals is going to be an absorbing affair, as August is traditionally the time when players apply themselves to the task in earnest.’
    • ‘Girls, who tend to apply themselves harder, provide a steadying influence.’
    • ‘Although I have finally been given a small piece of work to do (nothing crucial, generous deadline), I'm finding it hard to apply myself after such a long period of enforced inactivity.’
    • ‘Now that was a task I could apply myself to with relish.’
    • ‘Hawks began at the double and applied themselves to the task at hand with vim and vigour, taking all the early ball and constructing an effortless try in the process.’
    • ‘They have now played two consecutive games whereby they applied themselves for the full 100 minutes.’
    • ‘But I'm quite sure you can only imagine the dedication with which we applied ourselves to the tasks in hand…’
    • ‘We know we are capable of beating a lot of teams provided we keep applying ourselves and working hard.’
    • ‘The court found that the professor's absence from his home institution for three days a week ‘clearly prevented him from applying himself full time to his scholarship and service at the University.’’
    • ‘Your great interest in drawing anime characters demonstrates to me that if you try hard enough and simply apply yourself you can paint with the masters!’
    • ‘I know this may sound like a difficult challenge but if you apply yourself to the task you can get a modicum of enjoyment from the dross in your mailbox.’
    • ‘Rich in cultural capital and attuned to information and communication structures, they apply themselves assiduously to the task of self-fulfillment.’
    • ‘His inability to apply himself to a given task, however, resurfaces in less than a fortnight.’
    • ‘But after the Thanksgiving break, she began to have trouble getting through her assigned reading and had to work harder to apply herself.’
    • ‘Working under severe weather conditions, the cable party applied itself diligently to all tasks assigned by command.’
    • ‘Most of us at some point in our lives face difficulties that seem insurmountable, but we apply ourselves and struggle through.’
    • ‘I'm the kind of person that needs something to grasp my attention completely for me to apply myself fully - that's the good thing about my work, it's not at all taxing, so I can get away with less than 70% effort!’
    • ‘For the next couple of weeks I shall be applying myself to this unfortunately necessary task.’
    be diligent, be industrious, be assiduous, show commitment, show dedication
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/əˈplī/ /əˈplaɪ/


Late Middle English from Old French aplier, from Latin applicare ‘fold, fasten to’, from ad- ‘to’ + plicare ‘to fold’.