Definition of modify in English:

modify

Syllabification: mod·i·fy
Pronunciation: /ˈmädəˌfī
 
/

verb (modifies, modifying, modified)

[with object]
  • 1Make partial or minor changes to (something), typically so as to improve it or to make it less extreme: she may be prepared to modify her views (as adjective modified) a modified version of the aircraft
    More example sentences
    • In the course of the final two days of debate, the government and the Labor Party used their numbers to defeat a series of amendments from the minor parties to modify the call-out power.
    • Despite this, and despite my complete lack of any experience at all with Perl, I decided that a good thing to do would be to modify them for version 4.
    • The trials in June will be to find out if it works and modifying it with a view to having a serious roll out next year.
    Synonyms
    alter, change, adjust, adapt, amend, revise, reshape, refashion, restyle, revamp, rework, remodel, refine
    informal tweak, doctor
    moderate, revise, temper, soften, tone down, qualify
  • 1.1 Biology Transform (a structure) from its original anatomical form during development or evolution.
    More example sentences
    • They are able to mentally recreate visual experience, allowing them to transform and modify the arrangement of items.
    • However, there are a huge number of ways in which this basic pattern has been modified through evolution.
    • A number of flowering plants have flowers which are structurally modified for bird pollination.
  • 1.2 Grammar (Especially of an adjective) restrict or add to the sense of (a noun): the target noun is modified by a “direction” word
    More example sentences
    • An attributive adjective modifies an ungrounded noun, thereby contributing to the specification of the type designated by the noun.
    • Since miss is a noun in this phrase, it should be modified by an adjective, not an adverb.
    • The semantic distinction between restrictive and non-restrictive modification applies to adjectives that modify nouns as well as to relative clauses.
  • 1.3 Phonetics Pronounce (a speech sound) in a way that is different from the norm for that sound.

Derivatives

modifiable

adjective
More example sentences
  • Democracy, political rights, and civil liberties are politically modifiable variables that seem to be associated with health status.
  • This book reminds the reader that these connections are flexible and modifiable.
  • So far, Internet standards have functioned as a common resource, accessible to and modifiable by all users.

modificatory

Pronunciation: /ˈmädəfəkəˌtôrē, ˌmädəˈfikəˌtôrē/
adjective
More example sentences
  • Being based on the colour of maternal tissue, this polymorphism necessarily has a modificatory basis.
  • Glaciers are powerful modificatory agents, and they can duplicate human flaking to a startling degree.
  • Thus, we found no evidence for a modificatory genome size plasticity in D. villosum.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French modifier, from Latin modificare, from modus (see mode).

More definitions of modify

Definition of modify in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
noun
a powerful whirlpool in the sea