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Definition of 'apply'


  1. put into service; make work or employ (something) for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose; "use your head!"; "we only use Spanish at home"; "I can't use this tool"; "Apply a magnetic field here"; "This thinking was applied to many projects"; "How do you utilize this tool?"; "I apply this rule to get good results"; "use the plastic bags to store the food"; "He doesn't know how to use a computer"
       Synonyms: use utilize utilise employ
  2. be pertinent or relevant or applicable; "The same laws apply to you!"; "This theory holds for all irrational numbers"; "The same rules go for everyone"
       Synonyms: hold go for
  3. ask (for something); "He applied for a leave of absence"; "She applied for college"; "apply for a job"
  4. apply to a surface; "She applied paint to the back of the house"; "Put on make-up!"
       Synonyms: put on
  5. be applicable to; as to an analysis; "This theory lends itself well to our new data"
       Synonyms: lend oneself
       Antonyms: defy resist refuse
  6. give or convey physically; "She gave him First Aid"; "I gave him a punch in the nose"
       Synonyms: give
  7. avail oneself to; "apply a principle"; "practice a religion"; "use care when going down the stairs"; "use your common sense"; "practice non-violent resistance"
       Synonyms: practice use
  8. ensure observance of laws and rules; "Apply the rules to everyone";
       Synonyms: enforce implement
       Antonyms: exempt relieve free
  9. refer (a word or name) to a person or thing; "He applied this racial slur to me!"
  10. apply oneself to; "Please apply yourself to your homework"

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