Definition of “apply” - English Dictionary

“apply” in British English

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applyverb

uk /əˈplaɪ/ us /əˈplaɪ/

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

  • He had an inspiration - why not apply for some government money?
  • People who apply for housing benefit must be means-tested.
  • We could apply for a loan to buy a car.
  • She's applied for a job with an insurance company.
  • We've applied to a charitable organization for a grant for the project.

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

  • Please strike out whichever option does not apply to you.
  • The law will apply equally to men and women except in the case of maternity leave.
  • The discount applies only to children under the age of ten.
  • The legislation must be applied irrespective of someone's ethnic origins.
  • It is intended that these guidelines should be applied flexibly and pragmatically.

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

  • If it continues to bleed, you may have to apply a tourniquet to the limb.
  • If he still refuses we could always apply a little pressure, as it were.
  • It's important to apply research in a practical way and not leave it on the shelf.
  • It is intended that these guidelines should be applied flexibly and pragmatically.
  • The taxi driver suddenly applied his brakes.

(Definition of “apply” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“apply” in American English

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applyverb

us /əˈplɑɪ/

apply verb (REQUEST)

[ I ] to request something, usually officially, esp. by writing or by sending in a form:

to apply for a job/loan
She applied for admission to law school.

apply verb (HAVE TO DO WITH)

[ I ] (esp. of rules or laws) to have to do with someone or something; relate:

The same rules apply to everybody.

apply verb (PUT ON)

[ T ] to spread or rub cream, paint, etc., on a surface:

She applied the lotion gently to her sunburned arms.

apply verb (USE)

[ T ] to make use of something for a particular purpose:

As a translator, he was able to apply his knowledge of foreign languages.
The driver failed to apply his brakes in time.

[ T ] If you apply yourself to something, you work hard at it.

applicable
adjective us /ˈæp·lɪ·kə·bəl, əˈplɪk·ə-/

This law is only applicable to nonprofit organizations.

(Definition of “apply” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“apply” in Business English

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applyverb

uk /əˈplaɪ/ us

[ I ] HR, FINANCE to officially ask for something such as a job, a place on a course, or a loan, usually by completing a special form or writing a letter:

Please apply before April 4th.
apply for sth I'm applying for a new job.
apply to do sth How do you apply to extend your visa?
apply to sb/sth (for sth) We've applied to a charitable organization for a grant for the project.

[ I ] if something such as a rule, condition, or tax applies, it affects a particular person or situation:

Whether you are a shoe store or an internet company, consumer protection laws apply.
apply to sb/sth The tax would only apply to meals in restaurants.

[ T ] to make use of something for a practical purpose or in a real situation:

apply knowledge/techniques/theory Applicants should be willing to learn and apply new techniques.
apply sth to sth He applied the knowledge he gained at university to his new job.

(Definition of “apply” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)