Etymology
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apply (v.)
late 14c., "join or combine (with); attach (to something), adhere," from Old French aploiier "apply, use, attach" (12c., Modern French appliquer), from Latin applicare "attach to, join, connect;" figuratively, "devote (oneself) to, give attention," from ad "to" (see ad-) + plicare "fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait").

The etymological sense is "bring things in contact with one another." In English, from c. 1400 as "use or employ" something for a certain purpose;" from early 15c. of lotions, plasters, etc., "place in contact with the body," also, of one's mental powers or faculties, "put to work at a task or pursuit." Meaning "seek a job by submitting an application for one" is from 1851. A by-form applicate is recorded from 1530s. Related: Applied; applying.
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applicator (n.)
1650s, agent noun from Latin stem of apply (v.).
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appliance (n.)
1560s, "action of putting into use," from apply + -ance. Meaning "instrument, thing applied for a purpose" is from 1590s.
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reapply (v.)

also re-apply, "apply again," 1723, from re- "back, again" + apply (v.). Perhaps a back-formation from reapplication (1690s). Related: Reapplied; reapplying.

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applique (n.)
1841, from French appliqué "work applied or laid on to another material," noun use of past participle of appliquer "to apply" (Old French apliquier, 12c.), from Latin applicare "attach to, join, connect" (see apply).
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applied (adj.)
"put to practical use," (as opposed to abstract or theoretical), 1650s, from past participle of apply. Earlier it was used in a sense of "folded" (c. 1500).
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misapply (v.)

"make an erroneous application of," 1570s, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + apply. Related: Misapplied; misapplying.

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applicant (n.)
"one who applies, candidate," late 15c., from Latin applicantem (nominative applicans), present participle of applicare "attach to, join, connect" (see apply).
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applicable (adj.)
1650s, "capable of being applied, suitable, appropriate," from Latin stem of apply (v.) + -able. Earlier in this sense was appliable (mid-15c.), and applicable formerly meant "pliable, well-disposed" (1560s).
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ply (v.1)

"work with, practice with persistence, use or employ diligently," late 14c., shortened form of applien "join to, apply" (see apply). The core of this is Latin plicare "to lay, fold, twist," from Proto-Italic *plekt-, from PIE root *plek- "to plait." The sense of "travel regularly, go back and forth over the same course" is attested from 1803, perhaps from earlier sense "steer a course" (1550s). Related: Plied; plies; plying.

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