modify

verb
mod·​i·​fy | \ ˈmä-də-ˌfī \
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 \ noun
modifiable \ ˈmä-​də-​ˌfī-​ə-​bəl \ adjective

Synonyms for modify

Synonyms

qualify

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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 Trump Administration has asked a federal judge to modify that agreement, known as the Flores Settlement Agreement, in order to allow children to be detained with their parents. Maya Rhodan, Time, "The Trump Administration Won't Say How Many Separated Children It's Still Holding. The Clock Is Ticking," 2 July 2018 His trickiest task will be to modify the peace accord, as demanded by the uribistas, without wrecking the peace itself. The Economist, "Colombia’s new president will struggle to heal his country’s divisions," 21 June 2018 Granted, food scientists managed to modify Coca-Cola and Pepsi in 1985 for testing aboard the space shuttle Challenger, and the space shuttle Discovery boasted a soda dispenser in 1995. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The secret to champagne’s universal appeal is the physics of bubbles," 31 Dec. 2018 The change may be due to the fact that SpaceX wants to modify the orbits of some of its spacecraft now. Loren Grush, The Verge, "FCC approves SpaceX’s plan to launch more than 7,000 internet-beaming satellites," 15 Nov. 2018 There are solutions at hand, according to Molinsky, such as increasing subsidies and the number of low-income units, as well as supporting programs to modify homes with assistive devices to make aging in place easier. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Senior housing: Older Americans face affordability, accessibility challenges," 14 Nov. 2018 As the lawsuits move forward, the judges said that Disney did not intentionally discriminate against the autistic visitors and that the question the district court will decide is whether Disney needs to modify its policies. Fox News, "30 lawsuits against Disney Resorts from autistic visitors move forward," 2 Oct. 2018 Allegiant Air argues that the delay in updating the scheduling system is because their vendor, Crewing Solutions, has had to modify their software to meet the airline’s needs. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Allegiant Air Pilots Threatening to Strike over Scheduling Dispute," 10 July 2018 The developer also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Southland Hills Improvement Association agreeing not to modify the exterior of the historic mansion or parts of the surrounding grounds without approval from the association. Libby Solomon, baltimoresun.com, "Community input meeting for Bosley Estates development planned for July 11," 6 July 2018

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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Statistics for modify

Last Updated

3 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for modify

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

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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 \
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 \
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 \ noun, plural -ties
modifiable \ -​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on modify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with modify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for modify

Spanish Central: Translation of modify

Nglish: Translation of modify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modify for Arabic Speakers

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