Basic+ Word of the Day: apply

apply (verb) past tense: applied LISTEN

"Who wants to apply sunscreen to my back?"

When you use something for a particular purpose, you apply it.

  • To stop the car, apply the brakes.
  • Taylor applied half of her salary to her rent.

Apply means ‘to spread something on something else.’

  • My big sister applies eye makeup when she goes out with her boyfriend.
  • Please apply two coats of paint to the wall.

You apply to or for something, when you ask for something.

  • Oscar applied for a credit card when he started his first job.
  • How many universities did you apply to?

Apply can also mean ‘to be relevant’ or ‘to pertain.’

  • This rule only applies when you travel internationally.

Related words

An application is a form that you complete when you apply for a job, a passport, a university, a credit card, etc.

In pop culture

Perhaps you know the song, “As Time Goes By” from the film Casablanca. Listen for the line, “The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.” In this case, apply means ‘are relevant.’

There are other meanings of apply.

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