I am looking for a verb meaning "to make something more robust", especially in a software engineering context.

Is "to robust" correct and understandable? "Robustify" seems to be another candidate but does not seem so common.

  • Robust is not an "official" verb. The problem with the adjective in general is that it is not necessarily clear what you mean, and so no clear synonym comes to mind. What exactly is "more robust software"? I hear this used all the time and it can mean software that has more features, fewer bugs, better ability to handle problems that arise — always more of something desirable, but the something is always part of a larger context and not inherent in that single word.
    – Robusto
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 12:03
  • You might want to provide more information on the context. You could perhaps add an example sentence where you'd like to use this word. Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 12:46
  • Collins at least recognizes bulletproof can be a verb.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Jul 12, 2018 at 18:27

10 Answers 10


Neither robustify nor 'to robust' are correct.

You can use 'to make robust' or any of the options Bob noted.

  • 4
    I think it's worth noting that the phrase "make the code more robust" - in quotes - returns almost 900,000 Google hits. Just my opinion, but I believe "to make robust" is superior to any of Bob's suggestions (I'm not trying to discredit Bob's valiant effort; I simply think that "to make more robust" is the best way of saying this).
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 1:41

I would use "strengthen", "fortify", or "harden", although "harden" has a distinct security meaning.

  • 3
    Possibly also to ruggedize - although this applies preferably to hardware rather than to software. Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 12:16

bolster: v. Support or strengthen; prop up: "the fall in interest rates is starting to bolster confidence".

For example, "You will help refactor the code and bolster the test suite."


There's no single word to describe making software more robust. Some ways of making software more robust are: simplify, debug, re-factor (especially functional decomposition and code re-use), make the interface more user friendly, make the program resilient to input errors and even recover from some runtime errors, etc.


"Harden" comes to mind, as in hardening a computer system. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardening_(computing)

  • The closest to "make robust" that I can come up with is:



: to give new life or vigor to

  • The second word that comes to mind is:



: heighten, increase; especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness

  • 3
    I don't like revitalize as applied to code - nothing says the old code was "moribund." Enhance is the more acceptable of the two, at least in my mind, but there are too many ways to enhance software to always associate enhancing with robustness.
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 1:34
  • I agree @J.R. In the first place, I doubted if "robustness" would stick to software. I went with the more general context
    – Cool Elf
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 5:35

Stabilize: to make (more) stable. He put a wedge of paper under the table to stabilize it.

I used this today when referring to a computer program. I also needed a noun equivalent and considered both stabilization and resilience.

  • Hey, who says I'm a stabilizing force? ^_^
    – Robusto
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 21:08
  • Welcome to ELU! This question is pretty old, and has an accepted answer, and is generally regarded as 'solved'. There's lots of other mor recent questions here :) Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 8:41

Robustification (n.)-- the process by which, or the act of, making a procedure or algorithm (esp. in engineering, software or statistics) less susceptible to uncertainty.

See also robustify (v.)


"Enhence Robustness" might be what you want. I saw it in the title of a nature article("Enhancing robustness of interdependent network under recovery based on a two-layer-protection strategy").

  • Hello Marquez. Welcome to English Stack Exchange. We here require our answers to be authoritative, accurate and well-cited, and your post is severely lacking in every one of these qualities. Please provide a link to the article that you have mentioned, and expand further on how you came to the conclusion.
    – VTH
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 11:15

Sometimes I use to mature when I need a verb, such as in process descriptions.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.