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

In most d20-based games, every character has an initiative modifier. Sam Ferguson, Ars Technica, "How to follow-up Pathfinder? Improve the game, don’t radically change its character," 30 July 2019 Of course, split infinitives, dangling modifiers, and subject-verb disagreements have always appeared wherever words are uttered or keys are stroked. Jake Cline, The Atlantic, "How Using Social Media Makes People Better Writers," 10 Aug. 2019 But in the Pathfinder playtest, there was no static initiative modifier. Sam Ferguson, Ars Technica, "How to follow-up Pathfinder? Improve the game, don’t radically change its character," 30 July 2019 His Morale & Welfare employs over-proof dark rum and modifiers that run the gamut: tart lime, slightly sweeter grapefruit, zesty cinnamon, and rich mole bitters. Liza Weisstuch,, "A toned-down tiki for the summer," 17 June 2019 There are two exceptions to this, though: running down the left side of your iPad’s screen is a sidebar that includes modifier keys (command, option, control, and shift) and an undo button. Chris Welch, The Verge, "macOS Catalina first look: goodbye iTunes, hello iPad apps on Mac," 24 June 2019 These can include antihistamines (which come in pills, nasal sprays, and eye drops), steroid nasal sprays, mast cell inhibitors, and leukotriene modifiers. Marisa Cohen, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Relief From Fall Allergies, According to an Allergist," 19 June 2019 Christian Alcala-Rivera, 24, of Cudahy is facing one count of disorderly conduct with use of a dangerous weapon modifier and one count of misdemeanor bail jumping, according to a criminal complaint. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Cudahy man pointed a gun at another person inside a laundromat bathroom, complaint says," 14 June 2019 The 11- to 17-year-olds who join Scouts BSA will likely start referring to themselves as scouts without a gender modifier, Surbaugh said. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Boy Scouts to change name, drop 'Boy' and accept girls in 2019, organization says," 2 May 2018

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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Statistics for modifier

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for modifier

The first known use of modifier was in 1583

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More Definitions for modifier



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with modifier

Spanish Central: Translation of modifier

Nglish: Translation of modifier for Spanish Speakers

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