apply

Apply means to put on a surface, like to apply makeup to your face before work. Apply also means to ask in a formal way. Long before you applied the makeup, you had to apply for the job.

You can apply the word apply to many situations, including when you make use of something — like when you apply the brakes on a car. Apply also means to really put effort into a task, like to apply yourself to learning Greek or reaching the next level on your favorite video game. But then again, maybe those examples don’t apply.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: apply

1
v
put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
2
v
give or convey physically
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: apply
1

v put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose

Apply a magnetic field here”
“This thinking was applied to many projects”
“I apply this rule to get good results”
Synonyms:
employ, use, utilise, utilize
practice, use
avail oneself to
Types:
show 51 types...
hide 51 types...
commit, consecrate, dedicate, devote, give
give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause
play
employ in a game or in a specific position
play
use or move
pull out all the stops
use all resources available
assign, put
attribute or give
ply
use diligently
address
address or apply oneself to something, direct one's efforts towards something, such as a question
waste
use inefficiently or inappropriately
misapply, misuse
apply to a wrong thing or person; apply badly or incorrectly
avail
use to one's advantage
overdrive, overuse
make use of too often or too extensively
cannibalise, cannibalize
use parts of something to repair something else
recycle, reprocess, reuse
use again after processing
exploit, work
use or manipulate to one's advantage
exploit, tap
draw from; make good use of
extend, strain
use to the utmost; exert vigorously or to full capacity
exercise, exert
put to use
enjoy
have benefit from
take
travel or go by means of a certain kind of transportation, or a certain route
share
use jointly or in common
put to work, work
cause to work
implement
apply in a manner consistent with its purpose or design
fall back, recur, resort
have recourse to
exercise, work, work out
give a workout to
warm up
cause to do preliminary exercises so as to stretch the muscles
maximise, maximize
make the most of
consecrate, vow
dedicate to a deity by a vow
rededicate
dedicate anew
promote
change a pawn for a better piece by advancing it to the eighth row, or change a checker piece for a more valuable piece by moving it to the row closest to your opponent
repose
put or confide something in a person or thing
rehash
present or use over, with no or few changes
make hay
turn to one's advantage
play
use to one's advantage
harness
exploit the power of
mine
get from the earth by excavation
quarry
extract (something such as stones) from or as if from a quarry
overexploit
exploit excessively
commercialize
exploit for maximal profit, usually by sacrificing quality
milk
exploit as much as possible
overextend, overstrain
strain excessively
task, tax
use to the limit
avail, help
take or use
feed, prey
profit from in an exploitatory manner
computerise, computerize, cybernate
control a function, process, or creation by a computer
reclaim, recover
reuse (materials from waste products)
double up
share a room or a bed designed for only one person
pool
combine into a common fund
communalise, communalize
make something the property of the commune or community
rack
put on a rack and pinion
exploit, overwork
work excessively hard
use
seek or achieve an end by using to one's advantage

v avail oneself to

apply a principle”
Synonyms:
practice, use
employ, use, utilise, utilize
put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
Types:
follow
adhere to or practice

v ensure observance of laws and rules

Apply the rules to everyone”
Synonyms:
enforce, implement
Antonyms:
exempt, free, relieve
grant relief or an exemption from a rule or requirement to
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
execute, run
carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine
execute
carry out the legalities of
step
cause (a computer) to execute a single command
give
execute and deliver
Type of:
compel, obligate, oblige
force somebody to do something

v be pertinent or relevant or applicable

“The same laws apply to you!”
Synonyms:
go for, hold
lend oneself
be applicable to; as to an analysis
Type of:
bear on, come to, concern, have-to doe with, pertain, refer, relate, touch, touch on
be relevant to

v be applicable to; as to an analysis

Synonyms:
lend oneself
go for, hold
be pertinent or relevant or applicable
Antonyms:
defy, refuse, resist
elude, especially in a baffling way

v refer (a word or name) to a person or thing

“He applied this racial slur to me!”
Type of:
denote, refer
have as a meaning

v ask (for something)

“He applied for a leave of absence”
“She applied for college”
apply for a job”
Types:
put in, submit
make an application as for a job or funding
Type of:
bespeak, call for, quest, request
express the need or desire for; ask for

v apply oneself to

“Please apply yourself to your homework”
Type of:
commit, consecrate, dedicate, devote, give
give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause
2

v give or convey physically

Synonyms:
give
give
give (as medicine)
Types:
tread
apply (the tread) to a tire
administer
perform (a church sacrament) ritually
insufflate
breathe or blow onto as a ritual or sacramental act, especially so as to symbolize the action of the Holy Spirit
Type of:
administer, allot, deal, deal out, dish out, dispense, distribute, dole out, lot, mete out, parcel out, shell out
administer or bestow, as in small portions

v apply to a surface

“She applied paint to the back of the house”
Synonyms:
put on
Types:
show 9 types...
hide 9 types...
dab, swab, swob
apply (usually a liquid) to a surface
daub
apply to a surface
gum
cover, fill, fix or smear with or as if with gum
dress
put a dressing on
cream
put on cream, as on one's face or body
cold-cream
put cold cream on one's face
putty
apply putty in order to fix or fill
sponge on
apply with a sponge
clap on, slam on, slap on
apply carelessly
Type of:
cover
provide with a covering or cause to be covered
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES