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English definition of “apply”

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apply

verb uk   /əˈplaɪ/ us  

apply verb (REQUEST)

B1 [I] to request something, usually officially, especially in writing or by sending in a form: By the time I saw the job advertised it was already too late to apply. I've applied for a new job with the local newspaper. Please apply in writing to the address below. We've applied to a charitable organization for a grant for the project. [+ to infinitive] Mandy applied to join the police.
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apply verb (RELATE TO)

B2 [I] (especially of rules or laws) to have a connection or be important: That part of the form is for UK citizens - it doesn't apply to you. Those were old regulations - they don't apply any more.
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apply verb (USE)

C1 [T] to make use of something or use it for a practical purpose: He wants a job in which he can apply his foreign languages. The court heard how the driver had failed to apply his brakes in time. If you apply pressure to a cut it's meant to stop the bleeding.
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apply verb (PUT ON)

[T] to spread or rub a substance such as cream or paint on a surface: Apply the cream liberally to exposed areas every three hours and after swimming. The paint should be applied thinly and evenly.

apply verb (WORK HARD)

apply yourself C2 If you apply yourself to something, you work hard at it, directing your abilities and efforts in a determined way so that you succeed: You can solve any problem if you apply yourself.
(Definition of apply from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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