v. ap·plied, ap·ply·ing, ap·plies
1. To bring into contact with something; put on: applied glue sparingly to the paper.
2. To put to or adapt for a special use: applies all her money to her mortgage.
3. To put into action: applied the brakes.
4. To engage (oneself) in a task with close attention or persistence: applied myself to my studies.
1. To be pertinent or relevant: a rule that applies to everyone.
2. To request or seek assistance, employment, or admission: applied for unemployment benefits; will apply to college next year.
[Middle English applien, from Old French aplier, from Latin applicāre, to affix : ad-, ad- + plicāre, to fold together; see plek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.