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

Weathers and Monnich have captured exactly that at their Stove & Tap, the multi-floor American bistro and bar that’s become a lively anchor of Lansdale’s resurgence. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "The Bercy adds French brasserie sheen to thriving Ardmore scene," 13 July 2018 This is exactly the kind of play that belongs there. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mary Page Marlowe': Theater Review," 13 July 2018 To get a complete picture, scientists need to answer some basic questions: Where are the warm waters, exactly? Kasha Patel, Smithsonian, "How Data-Gathering Seals Help Scientists Measure the Melting Antarctic," 13 July 2018 This glorious right may not be exactly inalienable, though — especially in Half Moon Bay. SFChronicle.com, "5 hidden beaches around Half Moon Bay," 12 July 2018 What exactly happened there remains somewhat uncertain. Gabby Raymond, Time, "The Justice Department Has Reopened Its Investigation of Emmett Till's Murder. Here Are 5 Things to Know About the Case," 12 July 2018 However, Sky Harbor Airport isn’t exactly teeming with golf-club-carrying visitors to fill up those hotels at this time of year. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "8 reasons to love the Phoenix heat in summer," 14 July 2018 Who Is Vera Kelly? won’t exactly set the literati’s hearts aflutter. Rayyan Al-shawaf, Philly.com, "'Who Is Vera Kelly?' by Rosalie Knecht: Brainy, endearing bisexual spy," 13 July 2018 When Mike Melazzo was growing up in Glen Ellyn and Wheaton, the two cities weren’t exactly alcohol-friendly. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, "Common Good aims to create new cocktail culture in western suburbs," 13 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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Phrases Related to exactly

my sentiments exactly

not exactly

Statistics for exactly

Last Updated

1 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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