A modifier is a word that describes or changes another word. Adjectives and adverbs are fun modifiers. They can turn a “man” into a “strange man” or make him “act strangely.”

To modify is to change slightly, so a modifier is anything that makes this change. Modifiers are popular in grammar land, but you could say that chocolate is a mood modifier, for example. An editor, who alters a few sentences, can be described as a modifier of the original manuscript. In the world of science, a modifier is a kind of gene that changes the effect of another gene. Modifier comes from the Latin word modificare, "to limit or restrain."

Definitions of modifier

n a content word that qualifies the meaning of a noun or verb

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intensifier, intensive
a modifier that has little meaning except to intensify the meaning it modifies
a word that expresses an attribute of something
a word that modifies something other than a noun
dangling modifier, misplaced modifier
a word or phrase apparently modifying an unintended word because of its placement in a sentence: e.g., `when young' in `when young, circuses appeal to all of us'
descriptive adjective, qualifying adjective
an adjective that ascribes to its noun the value of an attribute of that noun (e.g., `a nervous person' or `a musical speaking voice')
classifying adjective, relational adjective
an adjective that classifies its noun (e.g., `a nervous disease' or `a musical instrument')
positive, positive degree
the primary form of an adjective or adverb; denotes a quality without qualification, comparison, or relation to increase or diminution
comparative, comparative degree
the comparative form of an adjective or adverb
superlative, superlative degree
the superlative form of an adjective or adverb
dangling participle
a participle (usually at the beginning of a sentence) apparently modifying a word other than the word intended: e.g., `flying across the country' in `flying across the country the Rockies came into view'
a word or group of words function as an adverb
Type of:
content word, open-class word
a word to which an independent meaning can be assigned

n a person who changes something

a changer who lessens the purity or effectiveness of a substance
normaliser, normalizer
a person who normalizes
standardiser, standardizer
a person who sets a standard for things to conform to
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being

n a moderator who makes less extreme or uncompromising

Type of:
someone who mediates disputes and attempts to avoid violence

n a gene that modifies the effect produced by another gene

modifier gene
Type of:
cistron, factor, gene
(genetics) a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and following the coding DNA as well as introns between the exons; it is considered a unit of heredity

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