mod·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ˌmä-də-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of modification 

1 : the limiting of a statement : qualification with some modifications this statement is true today— J. B. Conant

3a : the making of a limited change in something making the exactly minimum degree of modification to her institutions necessary to fit them to new conditions— John Strachey also : the result of such a change

b : a change in an organism caused by environmental factors

4 : a limitation or qualification (see qualification sense 1) of the meaning of a word by another word, by an affix, or by internal change

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of modification in a Sentence

The program can be used on all computers without modification. They passed the law with only a few minor modifications. The weather required some major modifications to our travel plans.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill that makes modest modifications to existing farm programs while largely avoiding changes to food stamps, setting up a showdown with the House. Fox News, "Senate passes its version of farm bill, setting up clash over food stamps," 28 June 2018 The agency also will make station modifications to accommodate the low-floor trains. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "Here's what your gas tax hike will fund in the Sacramento area - if voters don't repeal," 12 June 2018 Last fall, when Oak Lawn officials introduced an ordinance restricting homeless shelters in the village, McClanahan acted as a liaison between government officials and local church leaders to make modifications. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "Oak Lawn pastor who blazed trail for women, led flock in social activism, set to retire," 2 June 2018 At this time, Adidas has no intention to pull the collection or make further modifications to it. Dory Jackson, Newsweek, "Pharell Williams Accused of Culturally Appropriating Holi with New Adidas Line," 13 Mar. 2018 YouTuber TheRaspberryPiGuy, like his name suggests, is constantly using the single-board computer to make modifications to everyday objects. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Electric Skateboard Is Controlled by a Wii Remote," 11 Nov. 2016 Gene mutations have long been known to cause brain cancers, but the effects of other genetic modifications such as those caused by mobile genetic elements are still emerging. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "Early Life Experience: It’s in Your DNA," 10 July 2018 In particular, the genetic modification is designed to spread through wild populations. Anthony A. James, STAT, "Gene-drive technology must be developed in a safe, ethical way," 10 July 2018 On Friday, huddles of Northwestern students studying physical therapy and engineering tested the cars’ speeds, took measurements and mapped out the necessary modifications. Tessa Weinberg,, "Northwestern students give 'freedom' by retrofitting motorized cars for kids with disabilities," 1 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of modification

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about modification

Share modification

Statistics for modification

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for modification

The first known use of modification was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for modification



English Language Learners Definition of modification

: the act or process of changing parts of something : the act or process of modifying something

: a change in something (such as a system or style)


mod·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ˌmä-də-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Kids Definition of modification

1 : the act or process of changing parts of something

2 : a slightly changed form


mod·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ˌmäd-ə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Medical Definition of modification 

1 : the act or result of modifying something

2 : a change in an organism that is not inherited and that is caused by the influence of its environment

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on modification

What made you want to look up modification? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!