exact

verb
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \
exacted; exacting; exacts

Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to call for forcibly or urgently and obtain from them has been exacted the ultimate sacrifice— D. D. Eisenhower
2 : to call for as necessary or desirable

exact

adjective

Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exhibiting or marked by strict, particular, and complete accordance with fact or a standard
2 : marked by thorough consideration or minute measurement of small factual details

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Other Words from exact

Verb

exactable \ ig-​ˈzak-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce exactable (audio) \ adjective
exactor or less commonly exacter \ ig-​ˈzak-​tər How to pronounce exacter (audio) \ noun

Adjective

exactness \ ig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs How to pronounce exactness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exact

Verb

demand, claim, require, exact mean to ask or call for something as due or as necessary. demand implies peremptoriness and insistence and often the right to make requests that are to be regarded as commands. demanded payment of the debt claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right. claimed the right to manage his own affairs require suggests the imperativeness that arises from inner necessity, compulsion of law or regulation, or the exigencies of the situation. the patient requires constant attention exact implies not only demanding but getting what one demands. exacts absolute loyalty

Adjective

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error. correct answers socially correct dress accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care. an accurate description exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth. exact measurements precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation. precise calibration nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination. makes nice distinctions right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault. the right thing to do

Do you exact or extract revenge?

Verb

The verb exact (as in, "exacting revenge" or "exacting a promise") is not as commonly encountered as the adjective exact, (as in "an exact copy" or "exact measurements"). Sometimes people will mistakenly use the more common verb extract when they really want exact. Extract can refer to removing something by pulling or cutting or to getting information from someone who does not want to give it. While both words refer to getting something they are used in different ways. You extract a tooth, but you exact revenge.

Did You Know?

Verb

Exact derives from a form of the Latin verb exigere, meaning "to drive out, to demand, or to measure." (Another descendant of exigere is the word exigent, which can mean "demanding" or "requiring immediate attention.") Exigere, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix ex- with the verb agere, meaning "to drive." Agere has been a very prolific source of words for English speakers; it is the ancestor of agent, react,mitigate, and navigate, just to name a few. Incidentally, if you are looking for a synonym of the verb exact, you could try demand, call for,claim, or require.

Examples of exact in a Sentence

Verb They would not rest until they had exacted revenge. He was able to exact a promise from them. Adjective Those were his exact words. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. We don't know the exact nature of the problem. Predicting the path of hurricanes is not an exact science. The police have an exact description of the killer. Please take the most exact measurements possible. He is very exact in the way he solves a problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Opponents couldn't wait to exact revenge, and often did. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Winderman: Can Heat offer Warriors a blueprint regarding capitulation, devastation, resolve? | Commentary," 3 Nov. 2019 The Knights, having lost the Carroll County Athletic League title to Liberty two weeks ago, exacted some revenge in capturing the regional title with a 2-0 road victory. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Boys Soccer: Revenge sweet for Century, which ousts rival Liberty to win regional title," 29 Oct. 2019 The length of the UAW strike — the longest at GM since 1973 — exacted a cost for the company, for the workers who have forgone regular paychecks, and related businesses, which experienced layoffs from Canada to Mexico. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "The GM strike is nearly over. Workers are voting on the contract.," 25 Oct. 2019 Left unaddressed, workplace incivility exacts a huge cost. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Toward more civil workplaces," 20 Oct. 2019 But for all the fun of watching Sweeney exact his revenge on the odious Judge Turpin, CFCArts doesn’t lose sight of the message that a devotion to vengeance destroys the avenger. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "In CFCArts’ ‘Sweeney Todd,’ David Lowe winningly serves up vengeance | Review," 20 Oct. 2019 This isn’t the dystopian end-of-the-world narrative in which humanity has either doomed nature or nature has exacted revenge on our habitat-destroying ways. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, "What to play: ‘Mutazione’ finds harmony in nature as we become plant-loving mutants," 17 Oct. 2019 Americans’ tendency to be trusting seems to have exacted a heavy cost — but accepting dishonesty as a norm, online or off, could be even more damaging. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "'White is Black and Black is White.' A Russian Troll Tells His Story," 18 Feb. 2018 This may seem like exacting work, exceeding the power of intuition. WSJ, "Dissecting the College Scandal," 12 Feb. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But the exact value of their fortune is not known and believed by some to be much larger. Anchorage Daily News, "What a Purdue Pharma bankruptcy means for the Sackler family," 13 Sep. 2019 Marcante wanted to place some sort of memorial at the exact spot where his friend Dario Gonzatti died while diving a few years prior. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Creepy Catacombs, Islands of Dolls, and 18 Other Terrifying Places for Thrill Seekers," 4 Sep. 2019 Rodents and roaches love nothing more than a dirty environment, so be sure to provide them with the exact opposite. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on Homes: Home pest control takes center stage," 31 Aug. 2019 Stull had recently used FaceApp, the viral cellphone application that adds years to users’ faces — and Stull’s digitally aged portrait was a near-exact match to his birth father’s photo. Laurel Weibezahn, sun-sentinel.com, "Brothers find each other after decades apart — and they’re both cops," 2 Aug. 2019 No one knows if Drucker really uttered those exact words, but the point is made: Our culture is the most critical key to the World Games’ success. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al.com, "Johnson: Atlanta ’96 shows how to make World Games succeed," 21 July 2019 Earlier that day, Dow Chemical CEO Jim Fitterling argued the exact opposite. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "At Fortune’s Global Sustainability Forum, the Planet Is the Point: raceAhead," 5 Sep. 2019 One of the most compelling is for drone delivery to exact locations. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "These Guys Mapped Out Every 3-Meter Square on Earth with a Unique Three-Word Phrase," 4 Sep. 2019 Trying to stuff the season full of merriment can result in the exact opposite. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "Beat Holiday Stress by Making No — or Few — Plans This Year," 3 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exact.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exact

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exact

Verb

Middle English exacten "to require as payment," borrowed from Latin exāctus, past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, enforce payment of or the performance of (a task), require, inquire into, examine" from ex- ex- entry 1 + agere "to drive (cattle), be in motion, do, perform" — more at agent

Adjective

borrowed from Latin exāctus, from past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, require, inquire into, examine, measure" — more at exact entry 1

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Statistics for exact

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for exact

The first known use of exact was in 1533

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More Definitions for exact

exact

verb
How to pronounce exact (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal
: to demand and get (something, such as payment or revenge) especially by using force or threats
used in phrases like exact a terrible toll and exact a high/heavy price to say that something has caused a lot of suffering, loss, etc.

exact

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: fully and completely correct or accurate
: very careful and accurate

exact

adjective
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \

Kids Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: completely correct or precise : accurate an exact copy the exact time

Other Words from exact

exactly adverb
exactness noun

exact

verb
exacted; exacting

Kids Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: to demand and get by force or threat They exacted terrible revenge.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exact

Spanish Central: Translation of exact

Nglish: Translation of exact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exact for Arabic Speakers

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