• (RP) IPA: /ˌæplɪˈkeɪʃən/
  • (British) IPA: /aplɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/
  • (British, America) IPA: /ˌæpləˈkeɪʃən/


  1. The act of applying or laying on, in a literal sense
    The application of this cream should reduce the swelling.
  2. The substance applied.
    • 1857, John Eadie, ‎John Francis Waller, ‎William John Macquorn Rankine, The Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography
      His body was stripped, laid out upon a table, and covered with a hearsecloth, when some of his attendants perceived symptoms of returning animation, and by the use of warm applications, internal and external, gradually restored him to life.
  3. The act of applying as a means; the employment of means to accomplish an end; specific use.
    • 1693, [John Locke], “§43”, in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], OCLC 1161614482 ↗:
      All that I have hitherto contended for, is, that whatsoever rigor is necessary, it is more to be us'd, the younger children are; and having by a due application wrought its effect, it is to be relax'd, and chang'd into a milder sort of government.
  4. The act of directing or referring something to a particular case, to discover or illustrate agreement or disagreement, fitness, or correspondence.
    I make the remark, and leave you to make the application.
    The application of a theory to a set of data can be challenging.
  5. (computing) A computer program or the set of software that the end user perceives as a single entity as a tool for a well-defined purpose. (Also called: application program; application software.)
    This iPhone application can connect to most social networks.
  6. A verbal or written request for assistance or employment or admission to a school, course or similar.
    December 31 is the deadline for MBA applications.
  7. (bureaucracy, legal) A petition, entreaty, or other request, with the adposition for denoting the subject matter.
    Their application for a deferral of the hearing was granted.
  8. The act of requesting, claiming, or petitioning something.
  9. Diligence; close thought or attention.
  10. A kind of needlework; appliqué.
  11. (obsolete) Compliance.
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