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

Engines need to be increasingly sophisticated to meet ever more exacting emissions standards, and car makers will apply lots of hybrid approaches before fully electric vehicles, which don’t have engines, become the norm. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Why Delphi Could Become a Tech Takeover Target," 3 Sep. 2017 Balenciaga took the glamorous young man under his wing and nurtured him in his own exacting science of dressmaking, so different from everything that Givenchy had learned up to that point. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Vogue’s Hamish Bowles Remembers the French Couturier Hubert de Givenchy," 12 Mar. 2018 In what would become her final interview, Radziwill—forever elegant with exacting taste and a sardonic wit—talked to Bazaar about everything from her biggest influence to her favorite book. Deborah Needleman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lee Radziwill's Last Interview," 20 Feb. 2019 There's something sharp about her look—something that isn't exclusively located in her exacting hemlines. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Marin Hinkle On the Scene That Gave Her Hives," 8 Dec. 2018 Chisel & Mouse Chisel & Mouse, the British company known for its exacting small scale building replicas, released a new line of sculptures to celebrate Bauhaus’ 100th anniversary. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "You can now buy iconic Bauhaus buildings in miniature," 3 Dec. 2018 The rennet addition is so exacting that Beecher’s uses a scale measuring to the tenth of a gram. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Connected to the Craft," 3 Dec. 2018 At 62, Galás is a feast for the senses, on stage and on record, and her panoramic range seems to have grown coarser yet more exacting with age. James Reed, latimes.com, "Swoops, shrieks and croons: Diamanda Galás transfixes at Palace Theatre," 27 Apr. 2018 Nine of the 11 galleries are home to a single artist, many of whom worked with the museums’ founders and architects to design the room to their own exacting specifications. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Glenstone Museum to open its stunning minimalist expansion next week," 26 Sep. 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

25 Apr 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

Comments on exacting

What made you want to look up exacting? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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