In technical contexts the idea of 'verification and validation' is often used. However novices to the terminology (or so I claim) on more occasions display a hard time grabbing and remembering which concept is which, or even what are they.

An example expression of this confusion can be seen in Difference between "validation" and "verification"

It would be unfortunate if people talking about the things meant by either verification or validation would have unclear ideas of what they are talking about. This is a field where communication should be clear. Eg. you don't want to lose time verifying your communication about verification...

I think the problem with the two term may include that they both start with v, end with ion, are generally somehow unfamiliar in precise meaning, denote somehow abstract things, not to speak of the fact that they can include or apply to each other (eg. 'verification is validation by empirical means'). So all in all, introducing them together is risky and inherently prone to errors.

I'm looking for alternate wording for either or both of these words, assuming they each have a single intended meaning. If suitable terms could be found that better express their difference, the learning curve to their usage hopefully could be shortened.

  • In simpler, loosely-applied terms, to check and to confirm? That is, see if it is what it ought to be (verify) and then test it to prove that it really is what it claims to be (validate).
    – Kris
    May 13, 2014 at 15:13
  • Wouldn't it just be easier to learn that validation is checking whether something conforms to rules while verification is checking whether a claim is true.
    – user24964
    May 13, 2014 at 16:05

5 Answers 5


Validation will always come prior to Verification like they do alphabetically.

You can use the following in case you still want to switch :

Validation : sanctioning Verification : Corroboration, confirmation


How about "tested and approved?"

Some nonstandard software has been tested and approved by TSC.


Perhaps empirical confirmation and support.

My colleague's elegant interpretation of past experiments in the context of our hypothesis provided support for our ideas, but we finally gained empirical confirmation for our hypothesis when we received the results of the new experiment.


In simpler terms it passed inspection and is in working-order. Borrowing from building code terminology.

  • But do these correspond to what verification and validation mean for computer software? May 13, 2014 at 15:34
  • @PeterShor - to a non-techie yes. I understand what V&V is because I go through it. My apps have to pass a series of inspections and then I have to prove out to a user test group that they work. You could probably just go with inspection(s). May 13, 2014 at 15:38

Well, according to www.dictionary.com, validation is:
"1. to make valid; substantiate; confirm: Time validated our suspicions.
2. to give legal force to; legalize."

While verification is defined as:
"1. the act of verifying.
2. the state of being verified."

So if we break it down to the basic terms valid and verified, valid is defined as:
"1. sound; just; well-founded
2. producing the desired result; effective"

Verified is defined as, "confirmed as to accuracy or truth by acceptable evidence, action, etc."

So, that says to me, valid is reason or emotionally based while verified is evidentially based. Now all you have to do is look up synonyms for those.

Instead of validation, you could use justification. Instead of verification, you could use confirmation or authentication.

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