I was suggested to use the term bullet-proofed by a colleague. Someone else now pointed out that bullet-proofed might not even exist, because we can't build the past tense of an adjective.

Part one of the question is: can to bullet-proof be a verb which describes "making something bullet-proof"? And in consequence bullet-proofed then means "having made something bullet-proof"?

So far, that's just for me, learning about it. I actually have decided to replace the word by something else.

The word is intended to be used like "a bullet-proofed solution", which is close to foolproof or stable or tested. However, I would not use foolproof as a term here, because it might sound offending in the business context it is used.

Can you think of the correct term my colleague might have had in mind when suggesting bullet-proofed? Note that we're both non-native English speakers.


@skymninge hit the definition. The intended use is like "not subject to correction, alteration, or modification", so I am looking for a synonym of that.


3 Answers 3


To answer part one, yes, bulletproof can be used as a verb, and so you can say "This and such was bulletproofed by Jimmy A." This is colloquial or informal, though. The adjective you were looking for I think was "bulletproof". Example: "Locking the keys inside the case is a bulletproof solution." This ordinarily means that the solution is perfect and nothing can alter or change it; it stems from the idea that not even bullets could penetrate or change such a solution -- it is THAT strong.

If you don't want to use bulletproof as an adjective, you might try: perfect, complete, impregnable, or solid.

  • Looked up your suggestions in a dictionary and also found impeccable or blameless. My stomach feeling says I should not use something with blame in my context. Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 13:50
  • With some more lookups in this direction I found mature. That's maybe no longer very similar to bulletproof, but my colleagues agree to use it. Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 9:38

Ironclad fits the description perfectly I think

Flawless might apply, but it might throw a slight air of arrogance to the subject

  • Looked it up: deriving shellproof or dead certain from your suggestion would match better - at least when using it in German. Not sure for English, though. Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 13:43
  • Possibly @ThomasW. shellproof reads like a synonym for what you already have, bulletproof (they derive from the same underlying premise: impervious to projectile attack)
    – kolossus
    Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 14:18

sure-fire sure-fire or sure·fire (sho͝orʹfīrʹ) adj. Informal Bound to be successful or perform as expected:

a sure-fire solution to the problem.

  • I'm not sure how informal I should go. It should be a business document. Is dead certain less informal? Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 13:51
  • @ThomasW., formality is the least of concerns when there is so much politics in the use of words. Dependent on the nature of your business, I'd avoid words associated with war, guns, bullets etc. but personally, I like the 'Ironclad' choice
    – Third News
    Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 17:56

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