apply (oneself) to (something)(redirected from apply themselves to)
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. I refuse to apply myself to a losing proposition like this one. Why waste my time on something that will never get funding? I'm impressed with how much Greg has applied himself to this project.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.