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verb apply pronunciation in British English /əˈplaɪ/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participleapplying
past tenseapplied
past participleapplied
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to make an official request for a job or a place in a college or university, or for permission to do or have something

    We advertised three jobs, and over 50 people applied.

    apply for:

    Students can apply for money to help with their living costs.

    apply to:

    You have to apply to the passport office for a visa.

    apply to do something:

    Bill is applying to join the fire service.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to affect or be relevant to a particular person or thing
    apply to:

    The discount no longer applies to him, because he's over eighteen.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to use a particular method, process, law etc

    The trial judge had applied an incorrect principle of law.

    apply something to something:

    A similar technique can be applied to the treatment of cancer.

    1. a.
      to use a particular name or word for someone or something

      In the past, unhelpful terms were often applied to children who were dyslexic.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to put a layer of something such as paint onto a surface

    Sara applied her lipstick carefully.

    apply something to something:

    Apply two coats of varnish to the table.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of apply
  5. 5
    [transitive] formal to use physical force in order to make something happen or work

    Apply pressure to the wound to stop it bleeding.

    Apply the brakes smoothly as you approach the junction.



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