modify

verb
mod·​i·​fy | \ ˈmä-də-ˌfī How to pronounce modify (audio) \
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 How to pronounce modifiability (audio) \ noun
modifiable \ ˈmä-​də-​ˌfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce modifiable (audio) \ 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 point of modifying our trade policies is to strengthen the business community. Dan Levin, Fortune, "The Trade War’s Invisible Damage," 27 Aug. 2019 Using Blue Voice is as easy as modifying the EQ presets on the microphone side. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: Logitech G Pro X is a complete package for gamers," 22 Aug. 2019 But the board tabled a $391,000 proposal to expand the scope of the Tonawanda project by modifying the building's front entrance to increase security. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Elmbrook to spend $7.3M to build a new gym and upgrade the HVAC system at Tonawanda Elementary," 22 Aug. 2019 Peloton prohibits users from modifying the bike to download other apps like Hulu or Netflix. Natt Garun, The Verge, "How to watch YouTube on a Peloton bike or treadmill," 14 Aug. 2019 The second strategy is a legal one that would open all of the above intermediaries to potential lawsuits by modifying CDA 230. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "When Limiting Online Speech to Curb Violence, We Should Be Careful," 9 Aug. 2019 Frehley's Gibson Les Paul was brought back to Alabama where DeWille worked on modifying the guitar for a rocket-shooting effect for Frehley. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "How an Alabama company made Kiss pyro and fake blood," 28 July 2019 As many as 20,000 Toyota Prius owners have had electric power system failures after the company recalled their vehicles in 2014 and attempted to remedy a safety defect by modifying software. Ralph Vartabedian, latimes.com, "Toyota expands Prius recall, reveals up to 20,000 hybrid inverters failed," 2 July 2019 There’s also long history of modifying tools and objects for the needs of aging people, and people with disabilities. Diana Budds, Curbed, "One of America’s most popular furniture styles was invented by a celibate religious sect," 21 June 2019

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

13 Oct 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 How to pronounce modify (audio) \
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 How to pronounce modify (audio) \
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 How to pronounce modifiability (audio) \ noun, plural modifiabilities
modifiable \ -​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce modifiable (audio) \ 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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