exactly

adverb

ex·​act·​ly ig-ˈzak-(t)lē How to pronounce exactly (audio)
1
a
: in a manner or measure or to a degree or number that strictly conforms to a fact or condition
it's exactly 3 o'clock
these two pieces are exactly the same size
b
: in every respect : altogether, entirely
that was exactly the wrong thing to do
not exactly what I had in mind
2
: quite so
used to express agreement

Examples of exactly in a Sentence

The levers need to be exactly positioned. we will meet at exactly six o'clock
Recent Examples on the Web The distillery actually has some more experimental expressions that are worth trying as well, but the core bourbon (and rye) has always met the BIB requirements—at least four years old, exactly 100 proof, and produced at one distillery—so there’s never been a green, immature batch in the mix. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 15 May 2024 Kilmer said better data on drug use are needed to untangle exactly what is driving the changes. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for exactly 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of exactly was in 1612

Dictionary Entries Near exactly

Cite this Entry

“Exactly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exactly. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

exactly

adverb
ex·​act·​ly ig-ˈzak-(t)lē How to pronounce exactly (audio)
1
a
: in an exact manner
do exactly as you're told
b
: so as to match fact or a state
at exactly three o'clock
exactly the same size
c
: in every way : altogether
that was exactly the wrong thing to do
not exactly what I had in mind
2
: quite so : just as you say
used to express agreement

More from Merriam-Webster on exactly

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