/mod"euh fuy'/, v., modified, modifying.v.t.1. to change somewhat the form or qualities of; alter partially; amend: to modify a contract.2. Gram. (of a word, phrase, or clause) to stand in a syntactically subordinate relation to (another word, phrase, or clause), usually with descriptive, limiting, or particularizing meaning; be a modifier. In a good man, good modifies man.3. to be the modifier or attribute of.4. to change (a vowel) by umlaut.5. to reduce or lessen in degree or extent; moderate; soften: to modify one's demands.v.i.6. to be or become modified.[1350-1400; ME modifien < MF modifier < L modificare to impose a rule or pattern, regulate, restrain. See MODE1, -IFY]Syn. 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.
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