Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “apply”

See all translations

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.
More examples

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.
More examples

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.
More examples

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)
What is the pronunciation of apply?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “apply” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More