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 modify (audio) \ noun
modifiable \ ˈmä-​də-​ˌfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce modify (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for modify

Synonyms

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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 While Pfizer and Moderna modify their mRNA to improve stability and reduce unpleasant reactions to the shot, CureVac stuck with unmodified mRNA. Denise Roland, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 The material can also sometimes modify the feel of the typing experience—plates of aluminum or stainless steel will create a firmer typing feel than those made of carbon fiber or palm, which will have more flex. Hannah Seo, Wired, 8 June 2021 This raises the question: Could military forces modify civilian drones into human-hunting counterparts to attack civilians? Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 1 June 2021 D’Amaro said that the company will modify its policies so that park employees will have more flexibility to reflect their cultures and individuality on the job. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2021 Could trustees modify Dixie State rename as petition against it grows? Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 June 2021 Indoor weddings are riskier, but doable if couples modify tradition to be as safe as possible. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 8 May 2021 There is no need to modify a police vehicle to accommodate Angel when traveling because of the dog’s use strictly for community policing or, basically, friendly work. cleveland, 15 Sep. 2021 This would reduce the need to modify the vaccine on a regular basis. Lara Marks, Quartz, 1 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for modify

Time Traveler

The first known use of modify was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near modify

modifier

modify

Modigliani

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Statistics for modify

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Modify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/modify. Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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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
: 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, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
3 : to limit in meaning : qualify The word "green" in the phrase "green gloves" modifies the word "gloves."

modify

transitive verb
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 modify (audio) \ noun, plural modifiabilities
modifiable \ -​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce modify (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on modify

Nglish: Translation of modify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of modify for Arabic Speakers

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