Share this entry

Share this page

modify

Line breaks: mod¦ify
Pronunciation: /ˈmɒdɪfʌɪ
 
/

Definition of modify in English:

verb (modifies, modifying, modified)

[with object]
1Make partial or minor changes to (something): she may be prepared to modify her views
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, make alterations to, change, adjust, make adjustments to, adapt, amend, improve, revise, recast, reform, reshape, refashion, redesign, restyle, revamp, rework, remake, remodel, remould, redo, reconstruct, reorganize, refine, reorient, reorientate, vary, transform, convert;
informal tweak
technical permute
rare permutate
moderate, revise, temper, soften, tone down, blunt, dull, qualify, restrict, limit, lessen, reduce, decrease, diminish, lower, abate, mitigate
1.1 Biology Transform (a structure) from its original anatomical form during development or evolution: (as adjective modified) the traps of insectivorous plants are modified leaves
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 ‘directionword
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) differently from the norm for that sound.

Origin

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

Derivatives

modifiable

1
adjective
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

2
Pronunciation: /-fɪkeɪt(ə)ri/
adjective
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.

Words that rhyme with modify

commodify

Definition of modify in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure