Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To change in form or character; alter.
  • transitive v. To make less extreme, severe, or strong: refused to modify her stand on the issue.
  • transitive v. Grammar To qualify or limit the meaning of. For example, summer modifies day in the phrase a summer day.
  • transitive v. Linguistics To change (a vowel) by umlaut.
  • intransitive v. To be or become modified; change.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make partial changes to.
  • v. To be or become modified.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To change somewhat the form or qualities of; to change a part of something while leaving most parts unchanged; to alter somewhat
  • transitive v. To limit or reduce in extent or degree; to moderate; to qualify; to lower.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To qualify; especially, to moderate or reduce in extent or degree.
  • To change the properties, form, or function of; give a new form to; alter slightly or not very much; vary: as, to modify the terms of a contract; a prefix modifies the sense of a word; light is modified by its transmission through certain media.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. add a modifier to a constituent
  • v. make less severe or harsh or extreme
  • v. cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English modifien, from Old French modifier, from Latin modificāre, to measure, limit : modus, measure; see med- in Indo-European roots + -ficāre, -fy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English modifien, from French modifier, from Latin modificare ("to limit, control, regulate, deponent"), from modificari ("to measure off, set bound to, moderate"), from modus ("measure") + facere ("to make"); see mode.

Examples

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