Definition of modify verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    modify

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈmɒdɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɑːdɪfaɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they modify
    BrE BrE//ˈmɒdɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɑːdɪfaɪ//
     
    he / she / it modifies
    BrE BrE//ˈmɒdɪfaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɑːdɪfaɪz//
     
    past simple modified
    BrE BrE//ˈmɒdɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɑːdɪfaɪd//
     
    past participle modified
    BrE BrE//ˈmɒdɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɑːdɪfaɪd//
     
    -ing form modifying
    BrE BrE//ˈmɒdɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɑːdɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1modify something to change something slightly, especially in order to make it more suitable for a particular purpose synonym adapt The software we use has been modified for us. Patients are taught how to modify their diet. We found it cheaper to modify existing equipment rather than buy new.
  2. 2modify something to make something less extreme synonym adjust to modify your behaviour/language/views
  3. 3 modify something (grammar) a word, such as an adjective or adverb, that modifies another word or group of words describes it or restricts its meaning in some way In ‘walk slowly’, the adverb ‘slowly’ modifies the verb ‘walk’.
  4. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French modifier, from Latin modificare, from modus ‘measure’, from an Indo-European root shared by mete.Extra examples Stories and characters had to be modified to fit a 21st-century audience. The original text has been modified so radically that it is barely recognizable. These ideas are still used today, though in a slightly modified form. We can modify the service for local conditions. You may need to modify your plans a little. genetically modified organisms using a highly modified version of the program The office software has been modified over the years. The social worker at first aimed to get Mrs R to modify her behaviour, without success.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: modify