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 judge then modified the sentence, capping the pay cut at two months and giving Gallagher 60 days’ credit for being held in overly harsh conditions before being tried and being deprived of treatment for a traumatic brain injury. John Antczak, BostonGlobe.com, "Navy SEAL acquitted of murder, convicted for posing with victim," 3 July 2019 The judge on Wednesday modified the sentence, capping the pay cut at two months and giving Gallagher 60 days' credit for being held in overly harsh conditions before being tried and being deprived of treatment for a traumatic brain injury. CBS News, "Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher sentenced for posing with corpse of ISIS fighter," 3 July 2019 The judge then modified the sentence, capping the pay cut at two months and giving Gallagher 60 days’ credit for being held in overly harsh conditions before being tried and being deprived of treatment for a traumatic brain injury. Washington Post, "Buttigieg seeks federal help in responding to police-involved shooting in his city," 3 July 2019 The team modified the drug for a slow release across several weeks, targeting tissue in the spleen, bone marrow and brain where latent HIV reservoirs, or clusters of inactive HIV cells, were likely to occur. Scottie Andrew And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "Researchers eliminated HIV from the DNA of infected mice. It's the first step toward a cure for humans, they say," 2 July 2019 The original 2006 plan was later modified, and envisages posthumously donating all of the Berkshire stock within a decade after his estate is settled. Tom Metcalf, chicagotribune.com, "Warren Buffett, Walmart heir, Home Depot co-founder giving away billions," 1 July 2019 The mouthbar dredging project modifies the contract of an existing $70 million dredging project currently underway in the San Jacinto River. Kaila Contreras, Houston Chronicle, "FEMA, Army Corp will begin dredging Kingwood mouthbar in July," 28 June 2019 The techniques modify the sweetness, acidity and texture of the fruit for results that range from tart with a slight crunchy pop to syruplike and silken. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "How to celebrate the savory side of grapes and cook with them," 26 June 2019 Cherqui’s treatment genetically modifies a patient’s blood-forming stem cells with a functional copy of the defective gene. San Diego Union-Tribune, "As state funding runs out, California stem cell scientists get $30 million gift," 26 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

7 Jul 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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