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What is a word (noun, preferably) for something, e.g. an idea, or technology, or any other concept that has been worked on (probably by many different sources) and evolved/developed to the point that it's now very advanced.

e.g.

"In the last 20 years or so, the Internet has become a XXXX"

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  • 2
    There is the term mature technology, but that carries the implication that little more improvement is likely, or indeed, possible.
    – Mick
    Oct 14, 2016 at 10:24
  • 'The finished article' is probably too strong a claim. Oct 14, 2016 at 16:06

5 Answers 5

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How about "refined"?

1.2 Developed or improved so as to be precise or subtle.

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  • I would never say a refined technology....
    – Lambie
    Oct 17, 2016 at 16:35
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I like using mature to describe something that is no longer being constructed or grown the way it was at first, although there may continue to be incremental changes over time.

Having completed natural growth and development

In my work developing software systems, once a module is considered mature, it is unlikely to undergo significant design changes, because the effort to redesign and change it would amount to a complete rebuild.

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  • Sure, mature is fine.
    – Lambie
    Oct 17, 2016 at 16:35
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Why not honed?

hone: refine or perfect (something) over a period of time.

Also valid is iterated or iterated upon, as that implies many small changes over a longer time period. This does not directly imply being advanced, however. A sentence using both:

After being iterated upon for twenty years, the Internet has become a honed informational tool.

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  • honed is sharpened
    – Lambie
    Oct 17, 2016 at 16:35
  • I wrote the relevant definition in my answer. That definition is used commonly, such as when one "hones" their skills.
    – monoRed
    Oct 17, 2016 at 16:44
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This idea is fully fleshed out.

This technology is mature.

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ingrained - firmly fixed or established; difficult to change.

http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/ingrained

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    – Helmar
    Oct 16, 2016 at 16:34

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