modifier

[mod-uh-fahy-er]
noun
1.
a person or thing that modifies.
2.
Grammar.
a.
a word, phrase, or sentence element that limits or qualifies the sense of another word, phrase, or element in the same construction.
b.
the immediate constituent of an endocentric construction that is not the head.

Origin:
1575–85; modify + -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
modifier (ˈmɒdɪˌfaɪə)
 
n
1.  grammar Also called: qualifier a word or phrase that qualifies the sense of another word; for example, the noun alarm is a modifier of clock in alarm clock and the phrase every day is an adverbial modifier of walks in he walks every day
2.  a person or thing that modifies

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

modifier
1580s, agent noun of modify. Grammatical sense is from 1865.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

modifier definition


A word or group of words that describes or limits a verb, noun, adjective, or adverb. Modifiers applied to nouns are adjectives. Modifiers applied to verbs or adjectives are adverbs. Those that are applied to adverbs themselves are also called adverbs.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

modifier definition

programming
An operation that alters the state of an object. Modifiers often have names that begin with "set" and corresponding selector functions whose names begin with "get".
(1998-01-12)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Here's the other problem mentioned in the stylebook entry, a form of dangling modifier.
You're getting their thoughts in real time, even with an occasional misplaced modifier.
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