ex·​ac·​tion ig-ˈzak-shən How to pronounce exaction (audio)
: the act or process of exacting
: something exacted
especially : a fee, reward, or contribution demanded or levied with severity or injustice

Examples of exaction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That bizarre approach lent itself to a Fincher-esque level of exaction while prompting interesting artistic questions. David Sims, The Atlantic, 9 Dec. 2020 Command of an army division could be purchased for $2 million, whereupon the buyer might recoup his investment with exactions from the civilian population. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, 10 June 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exaction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English exaccioun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French exaccion, borrowed from Latin exāctiōn-, exāctiō "driving out, demanding of payment," from exigere "to drive out, enforce payment of or the performance of (a task)" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at exact entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of exaction was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near exaction

Cite this Entry

“Exaction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exaction. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!