Something applied is practical, having to do with real-world situations and problems. Applied physics puts physics into use. If you have a mysterious lump, thank applied physics for the MRI the doctor uses to look inside your body.

To apply is to make use of something, like applying a coat of paint. The past participle, applied describes things related to solving concrete problems, rather than dealing with ideas, principles, or philosophy. Applied chemistry, applied physics, and the applied sciences as a whole have to do with real-world issues. The opposite of applied is theoretical, which is only concerned with ideas.

Definitions of applied
  1. adjective
    concerned with concrete problems or data rather than with fundamental principles
    applied physics”
    applied psychology”
    “"technical problems in medicine, engineering, economics and other applied disciplines"- Sidney Hook”
    used or applied in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law
    having or put to a practical purpose or use
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    concerned with theories rather than their practical applications
    dealing with a subject in the abstract without practical purpose or intention
    hypothetical or theoretical and not expected to produce an immediate or practical result
    concerned with theory and data rather than practice; opposed to applied
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