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Denotation vs. Connotation

modifier

[mod-uh-fahy-er] /ˈmɒd əˌfaɪ ər/
noun
1.
a person or thing that modifies.
2.
Grammar.
  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
1575-1585
1575-85; modify + -er1
Usage note
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for modifiers
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The modifiers in a simple sentence are always words or phrases.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • Since pronouns are used in place of nouns, they may have modifiers, also, just as nouns do.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • The comma before or would be required in the absence of either or both of these modifiers, as shown in Nos. 17A-1 and 17A-2.

    Why We Punctuate William Livingston Klein
  • If the verb is a complete verb, its only modifiers will be adverbs or adverb phrases.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • Fill the blanks in the following sentences with a noun and its modifiers used as predicate complement.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • The modifiers of the subject are either adjectives or adjective phrases.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • The complete predicate of a sentence is the simple predicate with all of its modifiers.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • The modifiers of the predicate are either adverbs or adverb phrases.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
  • When we use a phrase as a predicate complement, it, too, may have modifiers and more than one phrase may be used.

    Plain English Marian Wharton
British Dictionary definitions for modifiers

modifier

/ˈmɒdɪˌfaɪə/
noun
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 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

modifier

n.

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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Difficulty index for modifier

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for modifiers

15
16
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