[ mod-uh-fi-key-shuhn ]
See synonyms for modification on
  1. an act or instance of modifying.

  2. the state of being modified; partial alteration.

  1. a modified form; variety.

  2. Biology. a change in a living organism acquired from its own activity or environment and not transmitted to its descendants.

  3. limitation or qualification.

  4. Grammar.

    • the use of a modifier in a construction, or of modifiers in a class of constructions or in a language.

    • the meaning of a modifier, especially as it affects the meaning of the word or other form modified: Limitation is one kind of modification.

    • 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.

    • 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

Other words from modification

  • in·ter·mod·i·fi·ca·tion, noun
  • o·ver·mod·i·fi·ca·tion, noun
  • pre·mod·i·fi·ca·tion, noun
  • re·mod·i·fi·ca·tion, noun

Words Nearby modification Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use modification in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for modification


/ (ˌmɒdɪfɪˈkeɪʃən) /

  1. the act of modifying or the condition of being modified

  2. something modified; the result of a modification

  1. a small change or adjustment

  2. grammar the relation between a modifier and the word or phrase that it modifies

Derived forms of modification

  • modificatory or 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

Scientific definitions for modification


[ mŏd′ə-fĭ-kāshən ]

  1. A change in an organism that results from external influences and cannot be inherited.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.