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modify

[mod-uh-fahy] /ˈmɒd əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), modified, modifying.
1.
to change somewhat the form or qualities of; alter partially; amend:
to modify a contract.
2.
Grammar. (of a word, phrase, or clause) to stand in a syntactically subordinate relation to (another word, phrase, or clause), usually with descriptive, limiting, or particularizing meaning; be a modifier. In a good man, good modifies man.
3.
to be the modifier or attribute of.
4.
to change (a vowel) by umlaut.
5.
to reduce or lessen in degree or extent; moderate; soften:
to modify one's demands.
verb (used without object), modified, modifying.
6.
to be or become modified.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English modifien < Middle French modifier < Latin modificāre to impose a rule or pattern, regulate, restrain. See mode1, -ify
Related forms
modifiable, adjective
modifiability, modifiableness, noun
nonmodifying, adjective
overmodify, verb, overmodified, overmodifying.
premodify, verb (used with object), premodified, premodifying.
remodify, verb, remodified, remodifying.
unmodifiable, adjective
unmodified, adjective
Synonyms
1. vary, adjust, shape, reform. 5. Modify, qualify, temper suggest altering an original statement, condition, or the like, so as to avoid anything excessive or extreme. To modify is to alter in one or more particulars, generally in the direction of leniency or moderation: to modify demands, rates. To qualify is to restrict or limit by exceptions or conditions: to qualify one's praise, hopes. To temper is to alter the quality of something, generally so as to diminish its force or harshness: to temper one's criticism with humor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for modified
  • Some of them need to be edited or modified in certain ways before they can be directly used in teaching.
  • They are still influential, though librarians have modified his language to accommodate new media and contemporary usage.
  • Instead the dinosaur forelimb, already feather-clad, was modified for flight.
  • Second, between thirty and forty-five per cent of people who do have their mortgages modified end up defaulting eventually anyway.
  • Nothing about it can be modified without destroying its logical structure.
  • Thanks to human genes spliced into their genome, the mice are the first genetically modified animals to produce lactoferrin.
  • Humans have often modified the physical environment for their own benefit.
  • In each case a chimpanzee modified a branch by breaking off one or two ends and, frequently, using its teeth to sharpen the stick.
  • From its base comes a modified leaf called a spathe.
  • Every orchid has a petal modified for pollination, some theatrically so.
British Dictionary definitions for modified

modify

/ˈmɒdɪˌfaɪ/
verb (mainly transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
1.
to change the structure, character, intent, etc, of
2.
to make less extreme or uncompromising: to modify a demand
3.
(grammar) (of a word or group of words) to bear the relation of modifier to (another word or group of words)
4.
(linguistics) to change (a vowel) by umlaut
5.
(intransitive) to be or become modified
Derived Forms
modifiable, adjective
modifiability, modifiableness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French modifier, from Latin modificāre to limit, control, from modus measure + facere to make
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for modified

modify

v.

late 14c., from Old French modifier (14c.), from Latin modificare "to limit, measure off, restrain," from modus "measure, manner" (see mode (n.1)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Related: Modified; modifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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