ex·​ac·​tion | \ ig-ˈzak-shən How to pronounce exaction (audio) \

Definition of exaction

1a : the act or process of exacting
b : extortion
2 : 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 example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exaction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of exaction

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

History and Etymology for exaction

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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Exaction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exaction. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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