ex·​act·​ly | \ ig-ˈzak-(t)lē How to pronounce exactly (audio) \

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 All that behind-the-scenes work paid off: Fans are certainly invested, and one of the biggest questions on their minds right now is exactly what went down during the show’s shocking Season 1 finale. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "'Sweet Magnolias' Showrunner Sheryl Anderson Gives the Scoop on Cast Chemistry and Season 2 Surprises," 8 Aug. 2020 Lane Kiffin did not exactly light the SEC on fire in his one season at Tennessee (7-6 in 2009) and flamed out at USC, but his star is on the rise again after two 10-win seasons in three years at Florida Atlantic. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "How many games with Kentucky football win in 2020? Ranking 10 SEC games by difficulty," 8 Aug. 2020 That price is exactly one dollar cheaper than Huntsville’s Touchstar Cinemas Madison Square 12 has been renting their own auditoriums for since June. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Alabama movie theater announces reopening," 7 Aug. 2020 At 28, Seitz had spent exactly half her life working in restaurants, keeping an 80-hour-a-week schedule during the most demanding times. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Service industry veterans are leaving bars and restaurants in droves amid the pandemic," 7 Aug. 2020 Then again, Lillard being Lillard is not exactly breaking news. oregonlive, "Damian Lillard, the mentor, and Gary Trent Jr., the pupil, put on a show in Portland Trail Blazers’ win over Denver," 7 Aug. 2020 One study just released as a preprint did show somewhat higher inpatient mortality among asthmatic patients, but these patients were older and had more comorbidities than those without asthma, so the playing field wasn’t exactly level. Carolyn Barber, Fortune, "Eyeballs, asthmatics, and 3D-printed organs: New discoveries about COVID-19 abound," 7 Aug. 2020 The numbers in this report were released by the Coastal Health District and the Georgia Department of Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN's database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. Jamiel Lynch, CNN, "Georgia's youngest Covid-19 victim attended church where 2 elderly members died from the virus," 7 Aug. 2020 Haotong Li didn’t exactly bring a ton of momentum into Harding Park this week for the PGA Championship. Steve Kroner, SFChronicle.com, "China’s Haotong Li shoots 65, takes PGA Championship lead after Friday morning rounds," 7 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for exactly

Time Traveler

The first known use of exactly was in 1612

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Statistics for exactly

Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exactly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exactly. Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for exactly


How to pronounce exactly (audio)

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

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