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[mod-uh-fi-key-shuh n] /ˌmɒd ə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən/
an act or instance of modifying.
the state of being modified; partial alteration.
a modified form; variety.
Biology. a change in a living organism acquired from its own activity or environment and not transmitted to its descendants.
limitation or qualification.
  1. the use of a modifier in a construction, or of modifiers in a class of constructions or in a language.
  2. the meaning of a modifier, especially as it affects the meaning of the word or other form modified:
    Limitation is one kind of modification.
  3. a change in the phonological shape of a morpheme, word, or other form when it functions as an element in a construction, as the change of not to -n't in doesn't.
  4. an adjustment in the form of a word as it passes from one language to another.
Origin of modification
1495-1505; < Latin modificātiōn- (stem of modificātiō), equivalent to modificāt(us) (past participle of modificāre; see modify) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
intermodification, noun
overmodification, noun
premodification, noun
remodification, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for modification


the act of modifying or the condition of being modified
something modified; the result of a modification
a small change or adjustment
(grammar) the relation between a modifier and the word or phrase that it modifies
Derived Forms
modificatory, modificative, adjective
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 modification

c.1500, in philosophy, from Middle French modification (14c.) and directly from Latin modificationem (nominative modificatio) "a measuring," noun of action from past participle stem of modificare (see modify). Meaning "alteration to an object to bring it up to date" is from 1774. Biological sense is attested by 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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modification in Medicine

modification mod·i·fi·ca·tion (mŏd'ə-fĭ-kā'shən)
Any of the changes in an organism that are caused by environment or activity and are not genetically transmissable to offspring.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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modification in Science
A change in an organism that results from external influences and cannot be inherited.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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