I'm looking for a single-word verb that means "to make more accurate".

The OED lists a word that might work, but the context is sort of restricted to an (in my opinion unfairly) small situation set. It lists the word accurize, which is fairly new (its first recorded use by the OED is from 1955), is originally & chiefly a US term, and means, "To adjust or modify (a firearm or (occas.) other device) in order to improve accuracy."

I can't find any other word that means the desired definition.

  • 7
    Tune or refine might fit, but what is the context you are referring to?
    – user66974
    Jul 28, 2015 at 15:46
  • 1
    Though existing usage might have a limited context, accurize has the advantage of being immediately understandable. At worst, it's no worse than marketer-speak. Jul 28, 2015 at 17:51
  • 2
    One can tighten an estimate.
    – ajd
    Jul 28, 2015 at 20:08
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    Instead of saying, “we need to accurize this data.” we say, “we need to improve the accuracy of this data.”
    – Jim
    Jul 28, 2015 at 20:41
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    A support tech just included the word 'accurated', used as a verb, in an email to me. I landed here as I tried to find out whether it's a real word, and what it means. ☺ Oct 14, 2016 at 16:44

4 Answers 4


Answers from comments that I completely agree with:

Refine: To improve in accuracy, delicacy, or excellence.

That's pretty much perfect.

Tighten: To make tighter.

With this definition of 'tight', or a similar one:

Tight: Well-rehearsed and accurate in execution.

We often say 'fine-tune' when talking about making something even more accurate, but 'tune' can be used as well, especially if the thing isn't very accurate to begin with.

Tune: To make more precise, intense, or effective; to put into a proper state or disposition.

Definitions from Wiktionary.


hone - to perfect or make more intense or effective

From Kiplinger's Personal Finance...

To hone the numbers further, figure out how much income you would need to replace each month if you lost your job

But in practice most people would probably use...

fine-tune - to make fine adjustments to (something) in order to obtain optimum performance

  • 1
    You've fine-tuned the format of your answer. How could you write the sources using small letters?
    – user66974
    Jul 28, 2015 at 15:53
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    @Josh61: I could (and indeed can and did) just enclose the relevant text within <sub><sup> and </sub></sup>. But that doesn't work in SO comments (which is just as well, or you wouldn't be able to make sense of this one! :) Jul 28, 2015 at 16:14
  • Lol, freaking beautiful, @FumbleFingers. XD Jul 30, 2015 at 15:11

General purpose verbs you could use would be "correct" and "rectify". But we need more context. If you're referring to improving the accuracy of some type of tool or instrument, then 'calibrate' would be the best choice.

  • But does calibrate mean "to make more accurate"?
    – WS2
    Jul 28, 2015 at 16:25
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    @WS2: Yes; an uncalibrated scale might read the actual weight of the object plus 5 pounds, After (correctly) calibrating the scale, it would then read the true weight.
    – user66219
    Jul 28, 2015 at 17:01
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    @Hurkyl: An uncalibrated thermometer might not "read" anything at all (though you could safely assume that the higher up the tube the liquid goes, the hotter it is). So in at least some contexts, "calibration" doesn't necessarily mean make [existing readings] more accurate - it can just mean make a measuring device capable of indicating a "value" (whether "accurate" or not). Jul 28, 2015 at 17:13
  • Calibration improves the accuracy of uncalibrated systems. Once calibrated, further calibration (ideally) has no effect on a system's accuracy.
    – talrnu
    Jul 28, 2015 at 18:18
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    Un-calibrated doesn't necessarily give 'garbage', it can be the case, but it can also simply be slightly out of tolerance, therefore giving reliable readings that are just a little out of specification. Calibration isn't binary, there isnt just wrong or right, in some situations 'kind of right' is acceptable. The reading is wrong, but it's 'right enough', but could still benefit from calibration
    – nickson104
    Jul 30, 2015 at 15:15

In some contexts to specify might work, although that doesn't inherently mean a less accurate version already existed.

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