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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. To lay or place; to put or adjust (one thing to another); with to; as, to apply the hand to the breast; to apply medicaments to a diseased part of the body. He said, and the sword his throat applied. (Dryden)

2. To put to use; to use or employ for a particular purpose, or in a particular case; to appropriate; to devote; as, to apply money to the payment of a debt.

3. To make use of, declare, or pronounce, as suitable, fitting, or relative; as, to apply the testimony to the case; to apply an epithet to a person. Yet god at last to Satan, first in sin, his doom applied. (Milton)

4. To fix closely; to engage and employ diligently, or with attention; to attach; to incline. Apply thine heart unto instruction. (Prov. Xxiii. 12)

5. To direct or address. Sacred vows . . . Applied to grisly pluto. (Pope)

6. To betake; to address; to refer; used reflexively. I applied myself to him for help. (Johnson)

7. To busy; to keep at work; to ply. She was skillful in applying his humors.' (Sir P. Sidney)

8. To visit. And he applied each place so fast. (Chapman) applied chemistry. See chemistry. Applied mathematics. See mathematics.

Origin: OF. Aplier, f. Appliquer, fr. L. Applicare to join, fix, or attach to; ad _ plicare to fold, to twist together. See Applicant, ply.