Definition of modify in English:

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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.
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.
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.



Pronunciation: /ˌmädəˈfīəb(ə)l/
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.


Pronunciation: /ˈmädəfəkəˌtôrē/ Pronunciation: /ˌmädəˈfikəˌtôrē/
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.


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

Words that rhyme with modify


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mod·i·fy

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