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

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 gridlock was intended to exact political retribution on the borough’s Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse Mr. Christie’s 2013 re-election bid, prosecutors said. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "‘Bridgegate’ Convictions Largely Upheld by Appeals Court," 27 Nov. 2018 After getting permission from DiPalma’s parents, Sannicandro decided to exact his revenge. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Florida barber's bloody ear prank on 10-year-old boy sparks mixed reactions," 2 Aug. 2018 Colony 6, Wasilla 3 Colony claimed third place with a 6-3 win over Wasilla, erasing an early three-goal deficit to exact revenge on its Valley rival for last weekend's loss to the Warriors in the North Star Conference championship game loss. Matt Nevala, Anchorage Daily News, "Dimond is all smiles after capturing state hockey crown," 11 Feb. 2018 But what's an army compared to exorcising your personal demons by exacting revenge on the people who wronged you? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Preacher ends third season with a pop, not a bang," 28 Aug. 2018 Westlake disguises himself with synthetic skin and tries to exact revenge on those who attacked him. Charles Stockdale And John Harrington, USA TODAY, "The 24 most forgettable superheroes in movies," 5 July 2018 To get this far, the Cavaliers needed to exact some vengeance. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Senior-heavy Oak Creek wears down West Allis Hale, major rematch looms with state berth on the line," 1 Mar. 2018 The gang members blamed Damaris for luring the leader of their local clique, Christian Sosa Rivas, to his own vicious killing about a week earlier in Prince William County and wanted to exact revenge, prosecutors said. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, "She told the girl she’d see her in hell before stabbing her. Now, she’s guilty of an MS-13 murder.," 8 Jan. 2018 The restoration highlights Breuer’s exacting attention to light and space. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Marcel Breuer’s 1950 Lauck House restored to its original glory," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Actual purchases were indeed about 80 trillion in 2015 and 2016—¥80.3 trillion and ¥78.6 trillion, to be exact. Megumi Fujikawa, WSJ, "Numbers Game: For the Bank of Japan, 80 Trillion Means About 20 Trillion," 21 Jan. 2019 Matt Damon is now officially the owner of a record-breaking penthouse—the most expensive property in Brooklyn, to be exact. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Matt Damon Just Bought The Most Expensive Penthouse In Brooklyn," 28 Dec. 2018 The Queen's annual holiday lunch is one of the few events that gathers all of the royals together—around 50 of Elizabeth II's closest family members, to be exact. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Why Duchess Camilla Wasn't at Queen Elizabeth's Annual Christmas Lunch," 20 Dec. 2018 One is called Holiday Date, and per a Hallmark spokesperson, will have Hanukkah elements because the holiday falls over Christmas next year (December 22-30, to be exact). Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Here's Why Hallmark's Upcoming Hanukkah Movies Are Such a Big Deal," 1 Dec. 2018 Watch the sneak peek below: Although the exact premiere date was revealed today, GoT fans knew the show was retuning in April 2019 for a while now. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "A New Game of Thrones Teaser Shows Jon Snow, Arya, and Sansa Together at Winterfell," 14 Jan. 2019 The exact date of the season premiere has still not been announced. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "New 'Game of Thrones' Clip Shows Sansa and Daenerys Meeting for the First Time," 6 Jan. 2019 The vote will now be held before January 21, according to the prime minister’s spokesperson, but an exact date has not been set. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Theresa May is seeking a lifeline from the EU after Brexit deal chaos," 11 Dec. 2018 An exact date hasn't been announced just yet, but ABC has disclosed that fans can expect to see another round of Idol starting in March 2019. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'American Idol' Will Change in Some Major Ways When the New Season Starts in 2019," 19 Nov. 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

Statistics for exact

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

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)

formal
: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on exact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exact

Spanish Central: Translation of exact

Nglish: Translation of exact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exact for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exact

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