1. The act of applying.
2. Something applied, such as a cosmetic or curative agent.
a. The act of putting something to a special use or purpose: an application of a new method.
b. A specific use to which something is put: the application of science to industry.
4. The capacity of being usable; relevance: Geometry has practical application in aviation and navigation.
5. Close attention; diligence: shows application to her work.
a. A request, as for assistance, employment, or admission to a school.
b. The form or document on which such a request is made.
7. Computers A computer program designed for a specific task or use.
adj. also applications
Of or being a computer program designed for a specific task or use: applications software for a missile guidance system.
[Middle English applicacion, from Old French, from Latin applicātiō, applicātiōn-, from applicātus, past participle of applicāre, to affix; see APPLY.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.