ex·​act·​ly | \ig-ˈzak-(t)lē \

Definition of exactly 

1a : 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

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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 intensity of right now, the days before, is that combination of not knowing what the next turn will be, exactly, while knowing that whatever happens will be epic and extraordinary. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "France’s Ghosts Return for the World Cup," 14 July 2018 Image Left unclear was exactly what Mr. Theodoracopulos was claiming to have misrepresented or whether the quotation itself was inaccurate. New York Times, "Did Harvey Weinstein Admit to Trading Movie Roles for Sex?," 13 July 2018 The advantage to this is anyone hoping to contend for the championship once the 10-race, 16-driver playoffs start in the fall knows exactly which teams are the ones to beat. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "6 reasons 2018 is one of the weirdest NASCAR seasons," 12 July 2018 What exactly are vestibular migraines, and what are the most common symptoms? Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Tell if Vestibular Migraines Are Why You Get Dizzy So Often," 12 July 2018 According to a June 22 letter from the OCR to Eastern's president, that's exactly what the OCR will look into. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Eastern Michigan athletic program under federal investigation," 10 July 2018 What exactly is being done to protect our planet from asteroids? NBC News, "Stopping 'Armageddon': This former astronaut is on a mission to save Earth from deadly asteroids," 10 July 2018 What exactly is the showrunner and actress whipping up in her kitchen on Sundays? Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "The Meal Prep Trick That Mindy Kaling Swears By," 9 July 2018 Here are some other tips for disaster medication management: - Keep a list of every medication each person in your family is currently taking and exactly what the prescribed doses are. Paul Sisson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Emergency medication management tips," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exactly.' 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 exactly

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for exactly

exact entry 2 + -ly entry 2

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Statistics for exactly

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exactly

The first known use of exactly was in 1612

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More Definitions for exactly



English Language Learners Definition of exactly

—used to stress that something is accurate, complete, or correct

: in a correct or precise way : in a way that agrees completely with what is needed

: in every way

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More from Merriam-Webster on exactly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exactly

Spanish Central: Translation of exactly

Nglish: Translation of exactly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exactly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exactly

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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