ex·​act·​ing | \ ig-ˈzak-tiŋ How to pronounce exacting (audio) \

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 How to pronounce exacting (audio) \ 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 But over the past decade or so, the processes have become much more exacting. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 9 Apr. 2021 Its machines do simple work, like heat stamping, fastener insertion and pad printing that are basic, exacting and repetitive — and the type of jobs that small factories have had trouble hiring enough people to do. Amy Feldman, Forbes, 6 Apr. 2021 Yet the last-minute amendments will allow Facebook and other tech companies to avoid the code’s most exacting terms if they are deemed to be contributing enough. The Economist, 24 Feb. 2021 In Congress, Weiner was an exacting boss, known for throwing salads and BlackBerrys. Micah Hauser, The New Yorker, 28 Dec. 2020 He was known to be a tough and exacting boss who regularly and relentlessly drilled his analysts to prepare them for client meetings. Glenn Rifkin, Washington Post, 18 Dec. 2020 Her elegant, exacting and lyrical poems — which invited comparisons to Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson — addressed a breadth of themes: social justice, romantic love, women’s histories, religious devotion and the craft of poetry itself. New York Times, 4 Dec. 2020 Famous for his irascible perfectionism, Zappa is remembered with affection by Gail and his former bandmates, who speak admiringly, if ruefully, of their exacting, aloof and withholding leader. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 26 Nov. 2020 With the press, Cuomo has a reputation for being both exacting and adept. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, 12 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for exacting

Time Traveler

The first known use of exacting was in 1634

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Statistics for exacting

Last Updated

23 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exacting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exacting. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce exacting (audio) \

Kids Definition of exacting

: expecting a lot from a person an exacting teacher


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