modify

verb
mod·​i·​fy | \ ˈmä-də-ˌfī How to pronounce modify (audio) \
modified; modifying

Definition of modify

transitive verb

1 : to make less extreme : moderate traffic rules were modified to let him pass— Van Wyck Brooks
2a : to limit or restrict the meaning of especially in a grammatical construction In the phrase "the red hat," the adjective "red" modifies the noun "hat."
b : to change (a vowel) by umlaut
3a : to make minor changes in had to modify his plan
b : to make basic or fundamental changes in often to give a new orientation to or to serve a new end the wing of a bird is an arm modified for flying

intransitive verb

: to undergo change

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Other Words from modify

modifiability \ ˌmä-​də-​ˌfī-​ə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce modify (audio) \ noun
modifiable \ ˈmä-​də-​ˌfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce modify (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for modify

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for modify

change, alter, vary, modify mean to make or become different. change implies making either an essential difference often amounting to a loss of original identity or a substitution of one thing for another. changed the shirt for a larger size alter implies a difference in some particular respect without suggesting loss of identity. slightly altered the original design vary stresses a breaking away from sameness, duplication, or exact repetition. vary your daily routine modify suggests a difference that limits, restricts, or adapts to a new purpose. modified the building for use by the disabled

Examples of modify in a Sentence

We can help you modify an existing home or build a new one. He modified the recipe by using oil instead of butter. She has modified her views on the matter. The design was modified to add another window. We played a modified version of our favorite game. Adjectives usually modify nouns, and adverbs usually modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. In the phrase “a red hat,” the adjective “red” modifies the noun “hat.”
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Recent Examples on the Web The Federal Communications Commission gave SpaceX permission to modify an existing license for its Starlink broadband service, which will enable it to increase the number of satellites in a lower Earth orbital slot to 4,408 in total. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "SpaceX gets OK for modified satellite orbits despite space safety concerns from Viasat, others," 27 Apr. 2021 On the seas, the CDC is facing industry pressure to modify restrictions in place through Nov. 1. Washington Post, "Despite vaccines, many international travelers are postponing vacations — again," 16 Apr. 2021 Congress will modify it, but lawmakers are not going to draft another legislative vehicle. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Weekly Planet: The One Thing to Understand About Biden's Infrastructure Plan," 13 Apr. 2021 In 2021, legislators in at least 19 states have pushed aid-in-dying bills, including some to modify existing laws. Time, "Getting a Prescription to Die Remains Tricky Even As Aid-in-Dying Bills Gain Momentum Across the U.S.," 29 Mar. 2021 Such attempts to modify the weather can be dangerous. The Economist, "Cloud-seeding will not solve China’s water shortages," 27 Mar. 2021 Amazon reserves the right to modify or cancel the offer at any time. Maren Estrada, BGR, "How to stream unlimited music free for 3 full months from Amazon," 24 Mar. 2021 Proposals to modify existing buildings, while also not handled on time often enough, were more often reviewed by the deadline. oregonlive, "Portland’s faulty building permit process hampers business, housing creation, audit finds," 23 Mar. 2021 The models each group presented had different funding structures, including ideas on how to modify financial streams during the pandemic. Genevieve Bookwalter, chicagotribune.com, "Evanston City Council endorses plan to turn Harley Clarke Mansion into literary arts center," 9 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of modify

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for modify

Middle English modifien, from Anglo-French modifier, from Latin modificare to measure, moderate, from modus

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Time Traveler for modify

Time Traveler

The first known use of modify was in the 14th century

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Statistics for modify

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/modify. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for modify

modify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of modify

: to change some parts of (something) while not changing other parts
grammar : to limit or describe the meaning of (a word or group of words)

modify

verb
mod·​i·​fy | \ ˈmä-də-ˌfī How to pronounce modify (audio) \
modified; modifying

Kids Definition of modify

1 : to make changes in modify a plan
2 : to lower or reduce in amount or scale In a little while familiarity modified their fears …— Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer
3 : to limit in meaning : qualify The word “green” in the phrase “green gloves” modifies the word “gloves.”
mod·​i·​fy | \ ˈmäd-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce modify (audio) \
modified; modifying

Medical Definition of modify

: to make a change in modify behavior by the use of drugs

Other Words from modify

modifiability \ ˌmäd-​ə-​ˌfī-​ə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce modify (audio) \ noun, plural modifiabilities
modifiable \ -​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce modify (audio) \ adjective

Comments on modify

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