Why was clemency trending last week?


[mod-uh-fahy-er] /ˈmɒd əˌfaɪ ər/
a person or thing that modifies.
  1. a word, phrase, or sentence element that limits or qualifies the sense of another word, phrase, or element in the same construction.
  2. the immediate constituent of an endocentric construction that is not the head.
Origin of modifier
1575-85; modify + -er1
Usage note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for modifiers
  • Cars allowed to race on the track include open wheel modifiers, road hogs and late models.
  • But today ever more it is recognized that all those millions of bugs living in each of us are important modifiers of our health.
  • Gravity, relative speed are known modifiers in our local reality.
  • They can be used for a drug delivery system, biosensors or viscosity modifiers.
  • There are, he says, no modifiers that distinguish the tenses of verbs.
  • Digital gods are distributed deities, verbs and modifiers rather than nouns.
  • Somewhat, but those are mostly modifiers to research-related metrics.
  • But there was a price: all those misplaced modifiers made book reports and research papers harder to understand.
  • The following charts list procedure codes with their corresponding required or allowable modifiers.
British Dictionary definitions for modifiers


(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
a person or thing that modifies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for modifiers



1580s, agent noun of modify. Grammatical sense is from 1865.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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modifiers in Culture

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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