There are tons of vocabularies related to this concept, such as strengthen, improve, or enhance, but I've never found one proper vocabulary for a scientific (or at least formal) usage with this meaning. Oftentimes I want to describe an act of making some systems perfect by removing their hidden flaws. I think strengthen is inappropriate as it sounds like building some sort of muscle power. improve and enhance are not what I wanted too, since they're too much general and they don't seem like implying the flaw-removal concept.

Edit: I've added some examples that I thought simple improve is not quite specific.

Our research goal: improving the Intel CPU Architecture.

As you see, there are many ways to improve it; by accelerating the speed, by reducing its power consumption, or by removing its security flaws. The verb that I'm finding now is what inherently signifies the third act.

  • Can you provide an example sentence with "improve/strengthen" as a proxy - it will help us find a right word/phrase.
    – AIQ
    Dec 17, 2019 at 3:21
  • @AIQ Please refer to the edit. :] Dec 17, 2019 at 3:28
  • 1
    Does "fortify" work for you? Have you considered using a phrase instead of just a word - how about "beef up"?
    – AIQ
    Dec 17, 2019 at 5:23
  • @AIQ It seems uncommon in my field, but I'll take it into account :] Dec 17, 2019 at 5:25
  • 1
    @GwangmuLee And what is your field? Many have their own technical vocabularies and word preferences. "Fortify" in computer science, for example, usually means to make a system more secure against attack.
    – TypeIA
    Dec 17, 2019 at 8:02

2 Answers 2


As "improving" suggests there are problems or flaws, perhaps "refining", "optimising" or "fine-tuning" would be better? These both suggest that something is usable, workable, but just has some minor details to achieve optimum performance.

Refine: make minor changes so as to improve.

Fine-tune: make small adjustments to (something) in order to achieve the best or the desired performance.

Optimise: Make the best or most effective use of (a situation or resource) / Rearrange to improve efficiency.


I'm not sure this is considered a scientific word, as nothing is ever "perfect". But what about this:

Our research goal: perfecting the Intel CPU Architecture.

Lexico, at https://www.lexico.com/definition/perfect , gives this definition of "perfect" as a verb:

VERB [WITH OBJECT] 1Make (something) completely free from faults or defects; make as good as possible.

‘he's busy perfecting his bowling technique’


1.1 archaic Bring to completion; finish.

‘then urg'd, she perfects her illustrious toils’

1.2 Complete (a printed sheet of paper) by printing the second side.

‘the heap was normally printed as white paper in the morning, turned >at the midday break, and perfected in the afternoon

1.3 Law Satisfy the necessary conditions or requirements for the >transfer of (a gift, title, etc.) ‘equity will not perfect an imperfect gift’

It does seem to cover both removing flaws and bringing the project to completion. The first line in the definition includes bringing something to a state "as good as possible", and 1.2 pertains to the completion of the project.

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