The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Modify \Mod"i*fy\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Modified; p. pr. & vb.
n. Modifying.] [F. modifier, L. modificare, modificari;
modus limit + -ficare (in comp.) to make. See Mode, and
1. To change somewhat the form or qualities of; to change a
part of something while leaving most parts unchanged; to
alter somewhat; as, to modify a contrivance adapted to
some mechanical purpose; to modify the terms of a
2. To limit or reduce in extent or degree; to moderate; to
qualify; to lower.
Of his grace
He modifies his first severe decree. --Dryden.