mod·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌmä-də-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce modification (audio) \

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The city is also looking at implementing ways for motorists to be able to stop to load and unload, and enacting other traffic calming strategies as part of an interim treatment until the city comes up with a permanent modification. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, "Hennepin Avenue business owners to city: Don't take our parking," 4 Apr. 2021 And who knows how home-run hitters will react with the modification in baseballs after a record 6,776 were hit in 2019. USA Today, "'Most anticipated opening day I've ever seen': 2021 MLB season begins, promising hope for the summer," 1 Apr. 2021 There will still be six topics — fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership— with a rules modification, according to the commission’s website. Steve Sadin,, "‘I want discourse’: Lake County politicians, academics hoping for a more substantive second presidential debate," 21 Oct. 2020 Biden at first backed a modification — but not elimination — of the arcane procedural tactic. Jonathan Lemire, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden leaves door open for change in Senate procedures to move his agenda forward," 26 Mar. 2021 Jeffrey Powell, a biology professor at Yale University, sees drawbacks to the gene-modification approach. Jon Emont, WSJ, "How to Fight the Deadly Dengue Virus? Make Your Own Mosquitoes.," 6 Sep. 2020 Coronado’s attorney at the time filed a custody-modification lawsuit to prevent the children’s visitation with their father until a therapist evaluated them and declared it in their best interests to resume visits. Kathryn Joyce, Longreads, "She Said Her Husband Hit Her. She Lost Custody of Their Kids," 10 Aug. 2020 Many say the only long-term solution will be genetic modification, which is still years away. Anna Kuchment, Scientific American, "Can Scientists (and Wasps) Save Orange Juice?," 1 Mar. 2013 It can even be used to attack ground targets like tanks without modification. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Almost-Unbelievable True Story of the Sidewinder Missile," 21 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of modification

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for modification

Time Traveler

The first known use of modification was in 1603

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Statistics for modification

Last Updated

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce modification (audio) \

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 How to pronounce modification (audio) \

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

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