April 29, 2012
apply (verb)
\uh-PLYE\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 a : to put to use b : to lay or spread on c : to place in contact d : to put into operation or effect2 : to give one's full attention3 : to have relation or a connection4 : to make an application : make a request
How do you use it?
Ms. Santos advised us that on the extra credit question, we would need to apply what we had learned about fractions to a new kind of problem.
Are you a word wiz?

Apply yourself to today's quiz. Which of the following Latin words do you think is the root word of "apply"?

Let us unfold the mystery: the correct answer is D! The root word of "apply" is "plicare," meaning "to fold." When the common Latin prefix "ad-" is placed before a Latin root word beginning with "p," "ad" usually becomes "ap." Thus, "ad" plus "plicare" results in "applicare," meaning "to apply." Other English words with "plicare" at their root have a more obvious connection to folding. The verb "ply" meaning "to twist together" comes from "plicare," as does "plicate," an adjective meaning "folded lengthwise like a fan." The noun "plait" (a synonym of "pleat," meaning a fold, such as in fabric) is another member of the "plicare" family.
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