exact

verb
ex·act | \ig-ˈzakt \
exacted; exacting; exacts

Definition of exact 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to call for forcibly or urgently and obtain from them has been exacted the ultimate sacrifice— D. D. Eisenhower

2 : to call for as necessary or desirable

exact

adjective

Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exhibiting or marked by strict, particular, and complete accordance with fact or a standard

2 : marked by thorough consideration or minute measurement of small factual details

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Other Words from exact

Verb

exactable \ig-ˈzak-tə-bəl \ adjective
exactor or less commonly exacter \ig-ˈzak-tər \ noun

Adjective

exactness \ig-ˈzak(t)-nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for exact

Synonyms: Verb

assess, charge, fine, impose, lay, levy, put

Synonyms: Adjective

delicate, fine, finespun, hairline, hairsplitting, minute, nice, nuanced, refined, subtle

Antonyms: Verb

remit

Antonyms: Adjective

coarse, inexact, rough

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Choose the Right Synonym for exact

Verb

demand, claim, require, exact mean to ask or call for something as due or as necessary. demand implies peremptoriness and insistence and often the right to make requests that are to be regarded as commands. demanded payment of the debt claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right. claimed the right to manage his own affairs require suggests the imperativeness that arises from inner necessity, compulsion of law or regulation, or the exigencies of the situation. the patient requires constant attention exact implies not only demanding but getting what one demands. exacts absolute loyalty

Adjective

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error. correct answers socially correct dress accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care. an accurate description exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth. exact measurements precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation. precise calibration nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination. makes nice distinctions right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault. the right thing to do

Do you exact or extract revenge?

Verb

The verb exact (as in, "exacting revenge" or "exacting a promise") is not as commonly encountered as the adjective exact, (as in "an exact copy" or "exact measurements"). Sometimes people will mistakenly use the more common verb extract when they really want exact. Extract can refer to removing something by pulling or cutting or to getting information from someone who does not want to give it. While both words refer to getting something they are used in different ways. You extract a tooth, but you exact revenge.

Did You Know?

Verb

Exact derives from a form of the Latin verb exigere, meaning "to drive out, to demand, or to measure." (Another descendant of exigere is the word exigent, which can mean "demanding" or "requiring immediate attention.") Exigere, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix ex- with the verb agere, meaning "to drive." Agere has been a very prolific source of words for English speakers; it is the ancestor of agent, react, mitigate, and navigate, just to name a few. Incidentally, if you are looking for a synonym of the verb exact, you could try demand, call for, claim, or require.

Examples of exact in a Sentence

Verb

They would not rest until they had exacted revenge. He was able to exact a promise from them.

Adjective

Those were his exact words. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. We don't know the exact nature of the problem. Predicting the path of hurricanes is not an exact science. The police have an exact description of the killer. Please take the most exact measurements possible. He is very exact in the way he solves a problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The memos are exacting in their specificity, including details about who was sitting where, the precise times that conversations began and their durations. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "Comey Memos Provide Intimate Look Into Trump Presidency," 19 Apr. 2018 In a landmark First Amendment case, the justices ruled 5-4 Wednesday that the government may not authorize labor unions to exact fees from public employees who choose not to join. James Taranto, WSJ, "The Lawyers Who Beat the Unions," 29 June 2018 The show gets bonus points for the final episode, which allowed Notaro to exact some creative revenge on Louis C.K., who was credited as a producer on the series despite the her very vocal protests. Jennifer M. Wood, WIRED, "10 Great Shows You Can Binge-Watch in a Single Weekend," 24 May 2018 The rematch came Tuesday in the Class 4A sectional semifinal at Warren Central, and the Irish didn't wait long to exact their revenge. Lewis Bagley, Indianapolis Star, "HS softball sectionals: Cathedral gets its revenge, tops Lawrence North 8-1," 22 May 2018 Aunt Lydia, brought to roaring life by Dowd, is able to scare her handmaids to death in order to exact a degree of loyalty from them. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "The best villains on TV," 6 July 2018 The West has to do more to exact some consequences before the irregular warfare comes to U.S. soil. Fox News, "Preparations for a Trump-Kim summit getting back on track," 3 June 2018 Smart isn’t out to exact any sort of revenge on the ones who got away. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Once recruited by Smart, Nevada’s Martin twins will be handful for Texas," 13 Mar. 2018 Human rights activists say Afghan security forces often make spurious charges, or use torture to exact confessions. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, "The ICRC's precious gift to Afghan families: contact with jailed loved-ones," 29 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Though the exact launch date hasn't yet been revealed, the collection will be available through e-commerce and immersive pop-up events. refinery29.com, "We're Probably Going To See Rihanna In This Collection," 9 July 2018 Flash forward 40 years later, almost to the exact date, Papenthien is back at Summerfest to see Journey. Samantha West, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Is rock dead? No way, says folks going to Journey and Def Leppard at Summerfest," 4 July 2018 His first album is expected in the fall or winter, though an exact date is TBD. Tom Roland, Billboard, "Ten New Acts Ready to Bolt From Country's Starting Gate In Last Half Of 2018," 3 July 2018 The club has not yet decided on an exact date to honor Werth, who spent seven years at Nats Park and announced his retirement Wednesday. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Abortion is already emerging as a top issue in the midterms with Supreme Court vacancy," 29 June 2018 Check the website for exact dates; summer crop usually begins in July and the fall crop begins in mid-August and runs to mid-October. Annie Alleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Blueberry, raspberry picking season is almost here," 27 June 2018 On Wednesday, on the exact date of the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s address to a convention of Quakers, the city celebrated the man and the moment that was almost lost to history. Tommy Rowan, Philly.com, "Forgotten Martin Luther King Jr. speech in Cape May finds new life," 27 June 2018 Friday's talks are expected to set up the exact date and location for the reunions and determine the number of people participating from both countries. Kim Tong-hyung, Fox News, "2 Koreas meet to arrange reunions of war-split families," 21 June 2018 The exact dates of the solstices can vary by a day or two. Tom Metcalfe /, NBC News, "What is the summer solstice?," 20 June 2018

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

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exact

Verb

Middle English exacten "to require as payment," borrowed from Latin exāctus, past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, enforce payment of or the performance of (a task), require, inquire into, examine" from ex- ex- entry 1 + agere "to drive (cattle), be in motion, do, perform" — more at agent

Adjective

borrowed from Latin exāctus, from past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, require, inquire into, examine, measure" — more at exact entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near exact

Ex

exa-

exacerbate

exact

exacta

exact differential

exacting

Phrases Related to exact

exact opposite

exact same

to be exact

Statistics for exact

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exact

The first known use of exact was in 1533

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More Definitions for exact

exact

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to demand and get (something, such as payment or revenge) especially by using force or threats

—used in phrases like exact a terrible toll and exact a high/heavy price to say that something has caused a lot of suffering, loss, etc.

exact

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: fully and completely correct or accurate

: very careful and accurate

exact

adjective
ex·act | \ig-ˈzakt \

Kids Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: completely correct or precise : accurate an exact copy the exact time

Other Words from exact

exactly adverb
exactness noun

exact

verb
exacted; exacting

Kids Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: to demand and get by force or threat They exacted terrible revenge.

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Comments on exact

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