Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English modifien Related forms
< Middle French modifier
< Latin modificāre
to impose a rule or pattern, regulate, restrain. See mode1
mod·i·fi·a·bil·i·ty, mod·i·fi·a·ble·ness, noun
o·ver·mod·i·fy, verb, o·ver·mod·i·fied, o·ver·mod·i·fy·ing.
pre·mod·i·fy, verb (used with object), pre·mod·i·fied, pre·mod·i·fy·ing.
re·mod·i·fy, verb, re·mod·i·fied, re·mod·i·fy·ing.
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.