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 exactingly (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

Celeste no longer has to keep her house decorated and cleaned to Perry’s exacting standards. Jessica Roy, latimes.com, "For ‘Big Little Lies’ fans, the aesthetic is as much of a draw as the drama," 15 Mar. 2017 After his most impressive victories, Saban won’t hesitate to list the errors his team made and describe them in exacting detail, seemingly ignoring the fact the Crimson Tide just achieved an overwhelmingly positive result. Rainer Sabin | Rsabin@al.com, al.com, "Will Nick Saban rein in Tua Tagovailoa this season?," 23 July 2019 Tarantino also fully re-creates late ’60s Hollywood in exacting detail. Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Quentin Tarantino juggles glamour and gore in the compelling ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’," 23 July 2019 Their exacting culinary methods cultivated an aura around the food. Suyin Haynes, Time, "Fights Over 'Authentic' Chinese Food Have a Long and Complicated History. Now They're Tearing the Culinary World Apart," 8 July 2019 Earlier this month, Amy Coney Barrett and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals joined dozens of other courts in ruling that university processes should face exacting legal scrutiny. David French, National Review, "How the Obama Administration Harmed Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault," 8 July 2019 Nothing on the menu breaks new ground, but the point of Cut is not novelty but rather expensive, flavorful beef, prepared with exacting proficiency by a culinary team led by chef de cuisine Hilary Henderson. Patricia Escárcega, latimes.com, "Beyond Spago, exploring Wolfgang Puck’s L.A. empire at Cut and Chinois on Main," 27 June 2019 But the risk is that this combination of exacting precision and stark moralism can be subtractive rather than additive. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign and policy positions, explained," 26 June 2019 Renata is cutthroat and exacting, but Dern gets below the surface to explore what’s lingering behind her character’s ever-accessible wrath. Washington Post, "Laura Dern is the best part of ‘Big Little Lies’ right now," 24 June 2019

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

15 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce exacting (audio) \

Kids Definition of exacting

: expecting a lot from a person an exacting teacher

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More from Merriam-Webster on exacting

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exacting

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exacting

Spanish Central: Translation of exacting

Nglish: Translation of exacting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exacting for Arabic Speakers

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