Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to apply: apply yourself
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
To try hard or concentrate one's abilities (toward something). Without the preposition "to," it refers to a concentrated effort in general. I know you think you won't be able to understand this level of math, but you just need to apply yourself, and you'll find success. If we apply ourselves to the problem, we'll find a solution eventually.
apply for Chiltern Hundreds
To leave one's job/office/post. If members of the British House of Parliament wish to resign from office before the end of their term, they must apply to the honorary post of the "Chiltern Hundreds" (an obsolete administrative district in south-central England). Primarily heard in UK. I can't stand this job's stressful clients and erratic schedule any longer—it's time for me to apply for the Chiltern Hundreds. You better give Mark a raise or something. Otherwise, I think he's going to apply for the Chiltern Hundreds, and then you'll have to fill his position all over again!
1. To use for a specific reason or goal. In this usage, a noun appears between "apply" and "to." I want to live debt-free, so I just applied all of my savings to my student loans.
2. To take action for a specific outcome. In this usage, a noun appears between "apply" and "to." If you apply more time to your studies, I'm sure you'll pass your test. Apply more pressure to stop the bleeding.
3. To rub or place something onto another surface. In this usage, a noun appears between "apply" and "to." Apply the cream to your foot once a day to reduce the inflammation. Have you applied the frosting to the cake yet?
4. To submit an application for something, such as a job, school, or program. I applied to the scholarship program, but I haven't heard anything back yet. Which colleges have you applied to?
5. To impact or be pertinent to a person, thing, or group. The new dress code applies to all employees, regardless of seniority. I'm pretty sure that rule only applies to underclassmen.
1. noun A set phrase indicating that one can enter a particular business (such as a store) and submit an application for employment there. It typically appears on a sign posted on the door or window of the business. The sign outside says "apply within," so here I am! Can I have an application?
2. verb To enter a particular business (such as a store) and submit an application for employment there. If you're interested in working there, you can apply within.
1. Literally, to push against a dock in order to move one's boat away from shore. I'll need you to push off while I steer the boat.
2. By extension, to leave or depart. We both need to be up early tomorrow, so we'll be pushing off soon.
3. In some sports, to push another player in order to propel oneself away and create more distance from them, typically in order to get "open" to receive a pass, etc. Such a maneuver is typically against the rules. You can clearly see in the replay that Williams pushed off. The refs missed that one.
apply for (something)
To pursue something, such as a job, often through a formal process. When's the deadline to apply for financial aid?
apply (oneself) to (something)
To put forth effort toward some task or goal. Honey, if you would just apply yourself to your schoolwork, you would get much better grades.
apply oneself to something
to work hard and diligently at something. You should apply yourself to your studies. She applied herself to her work and the time passed very rapidly.
apply something to something
1. Lit. to put something onto the surface of something. Apply the decal to the surface of the glass. Apply the paint evenly to each surface.
2. Fig. to use something, such as force, effort, etc., on something or in the performance of some task. Apply more effort in your school work. An even greater effort has been applied to make sure we finish on time.
apply to someone or something
[for rules, laws, etc.] to affect someone or something; to be relevant to someone or something. Does this rule apply to me? These policies apply only to very large companies.
apply (to someone or something) (for something)
to ask for something from someone or an organization. You must apply to the proper office for permission. I applied to seven colleges for admission.
to ask about something [inside some place]. (Usually part of a sign or announcement posted outside a place.) The sign outside the office read, "Apply within." If you are interested in working here, please apply within.
push offand shove off
to leave. (As if one were pushing a boat away from a dock.) Well, it looks like it's time to push off. It's time to go. Let's shove off.
push (oneself) off (on something)
[for someone in a boat] to apply pressure to something on the shore, thus propelling the boat and oneself away. The weekend sailor pushed himself off on the boat he had been moored to. We pushed off on the dock.
push someone or something off (of) someone or somethingand push someone or something off
to apply pressure to and force someone or something off someone or something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) He continued to come at me, but I managed to push him off me and escape. I pushed off the attacker.
Also, shove off. Leave, set out, depart, as in The patrol pushed off before dawn, or It's time to shove off. This usage alludes to the literal meaning of a person in a boat pushing against the bank or dock to move away from the shore. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
To request or seek some assistance, admission, or employment: At least fifty people applied for the job. I might have to apply for unemployment benefits.
1. To attach something to the surface of something: You must apply the glue to the paper sparingly, or else the paper will wrinkle.
2. To put something to some special use: She applied all her income to the mortgage.
3. To be pertinent or relevant to someone or something: This rule applies to everyone; there are no exceptions.
4. To request or seek assistance, admission, or employment from some organization: I will apply to college next year.
5. To devote someone or someone's efforts to something. Used reflexively: In the summer I relaxed, but in the fall I applied myself to my studies.
1. To shove or thrust something or someone from a place: She climbed up to the roof and pushed off the snow. He pushed a glass off the table, and it shattered.
2. To set out; depart: The infantry patrol pushed off before dawn.
3. To launch or move away by pushing against a surface: I can jump higher when I push off the ground with my left foot. We got in the boat and pushed off from the dock.