mod·​i·​fi·​er | \ ˈmä-də-ˌfī(-ə)r How to pronounce modifier (audio) \

Definition of modifier

1 : one that modifies
2 : a word or phrase that makes specific the meaning of another word or phrase
3 : a gene that modifies the effect of another

Examples of modifier in a Sentence

In “a red hat,” the adjective “red” is a modifier describing the noun “hat.” In “They were talking loudly,” the adverb “loudly” is a modifier of the verb “talking.”
Recent Examples on the Web Overwhelmingly, people use emoji with skin tone modifiers for self-reference. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "The five emoji skin tone options don’t accommodate a diverse world," 12 Dec. 2018 Even without the now almost ubiquitous modifier toxic in front of it, masculinity has become a dirty word. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Irishman May Seem Like a Movie About Old White Men. It's So Much More," 31 Oct. 2019 Danglers are also called dangling modifiers and dangling modifying phrases. June Casagrande, Burbank Leader, "A Word, Please: Offended by danglers like this one, simple solutions occur to her," 12 Sep. 2019 Pictured here is the 2020 Type R in its new Boost Blue exterior color, which reminds us of the blue hue often used by Honda modifier Spoon. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "2020 Honda Civic Type R Adds Features and a Great New Color," 10 Jan. 2020 Its technical manager Wynand Nortje says its method of melting the plastic into the bitumen modifier minimizes the risk of microplastics. Emma Reynolds, CNN, "This company is using recycled plastic milk bottles to repave roads in South Africa," 30 Oct. 2019 Compound modifiers come fast and easy for french fries cut by hand, then fried twice and dusted with coarse salt and herbs for $3. Mike Sutter,, "52 Weeks of Burgers: Mr. Juicy," 22 Nov. 2019 In keeping with the spirit of its Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition DNA, first edition Pathfinder can sometimes require the addition of a whole string of modifiers to a die roll. Sam Ferguson, Ars Technica, "How to follow-up Pathfinder? Improve the game, don’t radically change its character," 30 July 2019 The Starbucks in the airport is my chance to order an inexplicably fussy beverage with multiple modifiers. Nicole Rucker, Bon Appétit, "I Was a Competitive Barista, But I Love a PSL," 22 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modifier.' 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 modifier

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler

The first known use of modifier was in 1583

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Cite this Entry

“Modifier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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How to pronounce modifier (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of modifier

grammar : a word (such as an adjective or adverb) or phrase that describes another word or group of words


mod·​i·​fi·​er | \ ˈmä-də-ˌfī-ər How to pronounce modifier (audio) \

Kids Definition of modifier

: a word (as an adjective or adverb) used with another word to limit its meaning In the phrase “very big dog” the words “very” and “big” are modifiers.


mod·​i·​fi·​er | \ ˈmäd-ə-ˌfī(-ə)r How to pronounce modifier (audio) \

Medical Definition of modifier

1 : one that modifies
2 : a gene that modifies the effect of another

More from Merriam-Webster on modifier

Nglish: Translation of modifier for Spanish Speakers

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