ex·act·ing | \ig-ˈzak-tiŋ \

Definition of exacting 

1 : tryingly or unremittingly severe in making demands

2 : requiring careful attention and precision

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Other Words from exacting

exactingly \ig-ˈzak-tiŋ-lē \ adverb
exactingness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exacting

onerous, burdensome, oppressive, exacting mean imposing hardship. onerous stresses being laborious and heavy especially because distasteful. the onerous task of cleaning up the mess burdensome suggests causing mental as well as physical strain. burdensome responsibilities oppressive implies extreme harshness or severity in what is imposed. the oppressive tyranny of a police state exacting implies rigor or sternness rather than tyranny or injustice in the demands made or in the one demanding. an exacting employer

Examples of exacting in a Sentence

He has very exacting standards. he was shocked when his normally exacting supervisor complimented him on a job well done

Recent Examples on the Web

Every appointee who fails to live up to that exacting standard damages the government’s ability to retain the moral high ground, and with it the chances of reining in corporate wrongdoing. The Economist, "Politicians’ battle against Korean conglomerates hits a snag," 26 Apr. 2018 The frontman also recalls a vintage Freddie Mercury, punctuating and conducting the band with exacting hand gestures. Jay Trucker, baltimoresun.com, "Greta Van Fleet earns comparisons to rock legends at Rams Head Live," 10 May 2018 The two pictures have much in common: crystalline black-and-white camerawork, a boxy aspect ratio, bursts of jazz music and an exacting sense of narrative concision. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Cannes: Passion and politics merge in the exquisite doomed romances of 'Ash Is Purest White,' 'Cold War'," 13 May 2018 Balls have been produced to exacting specifications — 9 to 9.25 inches in circumference and 5 to 5.25 ounces in weight — for more than a century. Kirk Kenney, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Why are home runs being hit at record pace this season?," 16 July 2017 Some fans praised Colley in the wake of the error; others held him to a more exacting standard. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "The Computer Poll Uprising: Creators of the BCS's Most Controversial Component Look Back," 11 July 2018 Dropcloths were scattered about, as if in the home of an exacting man with work to be done. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "Director Gus Van Sant continues his longtime exploration of addiction and recovery with 'Don’t Worry'," 6 July 2018 The older ones were also more literal and exacting about how closely the play followed the books. New York Times, "How ‘Cursed Child’ Puts Parenting at the Center of the Potterverse," 24 May 2018 Supporters and former colleagues, however, describe an exacting legal thinker committed to separating her faith from her interpretation of the Constitution and law. Dan Hinkel, chicagotribune.com, "Potential Trump Supreme Court pick Barrett: Catholic Chicago judge stirs abortion debate," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exacting.' 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 exacting

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exacting

from present participle of exact entry 1

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Statistics for exacting

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exacting

The first known use of exacting was in 1634

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More Definitions for exacting



English Language Learners Definition of exacting

: requiring much time, attention, or effort from someone : very difficult or demanding


ex·act·ing | \ig-ˈzak-tiŋ \

Kids Definition of exacting

: expecting a lot from a person an exacting teacher

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