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 climate has also changed and modified the currents and the natural rhythms. Mara Balagtas, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Greatest Things Freediver Fred Buyle Has Seen Underwater," 8 June 2018 Part of the problem is that human responses to scent are modified by personal preference and preconceptions about what a particular aroma is supposed to do. April Long, Marie Claire, "Aromatherapy Perfumes: Do They Really Work?," 20 Feb. 2019 Corn is not, but most of the corn in the United States is genetically modified—which may or may not prove to be of concern in the long run. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Is Healthy Snack Food Actually Healthy—or Just Addictive?," 18 Jan. 2019 The companies, which are mostly independent, rely on the allure of sightseeing aboard modified or purpose-built craft based on World War II-era troop and cargo carriers whose original model name was DUKW. Joe Barrett, WSJ, "After Missouri Duck-Boat Accident, a Summer Staple in Many Tourist Spots Suffers," 1 Sep. 2018 Italy's request to modify the terms of a Mediterranean naval mission focused on disrupting human trafficking can be discussed during an ongoing strategic review, European Commission officials said Monday. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "EU: Italy complaints about EU navy mission can be discussed," 10 July 2018 Trump’s approach could leave him exposed to legal challenges if a judge won’t accede to Sessions’ request to modify the Flores settlement. Matt Viser, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump reverses course after outcry over separating children from parents," 21 June 2018 Examples includes requests to modify building setbacks, height limitations, and parking requirements. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Norcross seeks volunteers for Tree Board and Zoning Board of Appeals," 3 May 2018 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

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

17 Mar 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 -ties
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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