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ap·pli·ca·tion / ˌapliˈkāshən/ • n. 1. a formal request to an authority for something: an application for leave. ∎  the action or process of making such a request. 2. the action of putting something into operation: the application of general rules to particular cases. ∎  practical use or relevance: this principle has no application to the present case. 3. the action of putting something on a surface: a fresh application of makeup. ∎  a medicinal substance put on the skin. 4. sustained effort; hard work: the job takes a great deal of patience and application. 5. Comput. a program or piece of software designed and written to fulfill a particular purpose of the user: a database application. DERIVATIVES: ap·pli·ca·tion·al / -shənl/ adj. .

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application A particular role or task to which a computer system can be applied, or, more usually, the software used for such a purpose. See application package, applications program.