exact

verb
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \
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 How to pronounce exact (audio) \ adjective
exactor or less commonly exacter \ ig-​ˈzak-​tər How to pronounce exact (audio) \ noun

Adjective

exactness \ ig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs How to pronounce exact (audio) \ 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 Pistons have a chance to exact some revenge on the Bucks and end an embarrassing losing streak to their Central division rival. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons have 13-game losing streak vs. Milwaukee Bucks. It's time to end it," 13 Jan. 2021 Their testimony was clear, their observations exact, their cursive legible to the point of elegance. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "The Real Republican Radicals," 31 Dec. 2020 Colt McCoy, who started in place of Daniel Jones, was unable to exact revenge on the team that drafted him in the third round of the 2010 draft and gave up on him as a starter after two seasons. cleveland, "Baker Mayfield sets team completion percentage record in 20-6 victory over the Giants, moving the Browns to 10-4," 20 Dec. 2020 The measured easing of rules, even while the source of the cluster remains unknown, reflects Berejiklian’s concern that a strict lockdown at Christmas would exact a mental-health toll on residents. Ed Johnson, Bloomberg.com, "Sydney Covid-19 Cluster Grows to 97; Lockdown Is Extended," 23 Dec. 2020 James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, said that Washington should exact a penalty for the SolarWinds hack. Warren P. Strobel, WSJ, "Computer Hack Blamed on Russia Tests Limits of U.S. Response," 18 Dec. 2020 Not only will some of the key provisions in the original deal phase out in a few years, but Iran will likely exact a steep price for returning to compliance, including compensation for the costs of the new sanctions. Ivo Daalder, Star Tribune, "The Biden administration: Doomsday dangers," 25 Nov. 2020 Job losses that aren’t reflected in the unemployment figures also exact a toll. Gillian Friedman, New York Times, "New Unemployment Claims Dip, but Economic Pain Persists," 12 Nov. 2020 In the statement, Eliot implies that Hale saved his correspondence in order to exact revenge on him for refusing to marry her. Michelle Taylor, The New Yorker, "The Secret History of T. S. Eliot’s Muse," 5 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The former child star is awaiting test results to learn the exact location and nature of the cancer. NBC News, "'Saved by the Bell' star Dustin Diamond diagnosed with stage 4 cancer," 15 Jan. 2021 Stingray devices act like cell phone towers to capture a device's exact location. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The High-Tech Way the Feds Found Ghislaine Maxwell," 5 Jan. 2021 First, in 2019, the researchers used a new method based on protein variations to identify the jaw as Denisovan; but the novel method and unknown exact location of where the jaw was found in the cave led to continued skepticism. Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten New Things We Learned About Human Origins in 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 First, in practical terms, the sun set at its earliest time a few weeks ago (the exact date varies depending on your location), and nightfall has been creeping later for a while. Katie Peek, Popular Science, "What is a solstice? And other questions about the shortest day of the year, answered," 21 Dec. 2020 The exact date for the closure has not been announced. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "JC Penney closing another Alabama store," 21 Dec. 2020 While there is no actual connection between Google and Red Hat, the relationship between CloudReady and Google's own ChromeOS was more or less an exact replica of that between RHEL and CentOS. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Google bought CloudReady, the largest ChromiumOS distribution," 16 Dec. 2020 This chess set is an exact replica of one designed by the artist himself in 1920. Janelle Randazza, USA TODAY, "26 popular chess sets for people obsessed with The Queen's Gambit," 2 Dec. 2020 The exact location of the new detention basins and EQ basin hasn’t been determined. John Benson, cleveland, "North Olmsted mayor anticipates ‘normal’ 2021 to include extensive road program and creative flooding solutions," 24 Dec. 2020

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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Learn More about exact

Time Traveler for exact

Time Traveler

The first known use of exact was in 1533

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Listen to Our Podcast about exact

Statistics for exact

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exact. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for exact

exact

verb
How to pronounce exact (audio)

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 How to pronounce exact (audio) \

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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