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 exactable (audio) \ adjective
exactor or less commonly exacter \ ig-​ˈzak-​tər How to pronounce exacter (audio) \ noun

Adjective

exactness \ ig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs How to pronounce exactness (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

In my version of the story, Catelyn Stark is re-imbued with a kind of life and becomes this vengeful wight who galvanizes a group of people around her and is trying to exact her revenge on the riverlands. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "'Game of Thrones' Fans Think Catelyn Stark Could Return as Lady Stoneheart Still," 21 Apr. 2019 Some business groups and individuals close to the discussions say the U.S. objectives remain unclear this deep in the process and that existing tariffs continue to exact a price. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Business Lobby Gaining a Voice Amid Pressure for U.S.-China Trade Peace," 9 Jan. 2019 However, four years later in the next World Cup held jointly by Japan and South Korea, Beckham and England would exact some measure of revenge against Argentina - with the Manchester United man scoring the only goal in England's win. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 5 Weeks to Go - England Fall to Argentina Despite Teen Sensation's Wonder Goal," 17 May 2018 Composed of 2,500 light bulbs and 1,000 feet of neon tubing, the sign exacts a significant cost in electricity and maintenance. Ian Cummings, kansascity, "At KC’s Western Auto building, residents try to relight an iconic neon sign," 26 July 2017 But the austerity measures sent prices soaring, exacting a heavy toll on ordinary Egyptians. Maggie Michael And Brian Rohan, chicagotribune.com, "Egypt votes for president, with el-Sissi certain to win," 26 Mar. 2018 The new tariffs target a wide range of American products, but the EU’s list includes a number of products chosen specifically to exact a political price from Trump and his supporters. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "EU trade tariffs take effect, in latest rift between US and its closest allies," 22 June 2018 Of course there's never any shortage of memorable acting on Broadway, but the shortage of high-quality new plays has exacted a toll. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Tony Award nominations reflect an anemic year for original ideas. Here's a critic's take on the bright spots," 1 May 2018 Apart from the airstrikes, an economic war is exacting a far greater toll and now risks tipping the country into a famine of catastrophic proportions. Declan Walsh, The Seattle Times, "The tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen," 26 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Despite still not knowing exact power figures—a.k.a. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "Diesel-Powered Jeep Wrangler Spied Wearing Distinct Badge," 24 May 2019 Scientists who reviewed his claims said the alterations aren’t an exact match to natural CCR5 mutations, and that a big question is whether the gene is altered in every cell. Malcolm Ritter, The Seattle Times, "Q&A on scientist’s bombshell claim of gene-edited babies," 28 Nov. 2018 Preston didn’t reveal the grove’s exact location, but the book spurred interest and prompted amateur tree hunters to seek it out. Robert Earle Howells, SFChronicle.com, "Should we hide the locations of Earth’s greatest trees?," 3 July 2018 Far in the future—the first half of 2020, to be exact. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Windows 10's latest Insider preview gives Task Manager a simple, stellar storage enhancement," 15 May 2019 Color-changing abilities aside, the top ingredient on the Unblemish Clarifying Mask's list is sulfur — 10 percent, to be exact. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Rodan + Fields Just Launched a Fun Line of Face Masks For Every Complexion Concern," 15 May 2019 As The Big Bang Theory comes to an end—on May 16th, to be exact—so does the sitcom star Kaley Cuoco's time with her stunning Mediterranean-style villa—the property was just recently put on the market for $6.9 million. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Kaley Cuoco’s California Villa Has the Indoor Swing Sofa of Our Dreams—And It’s On the Market," 9 May 2019 And while that exact figure is hard to verify for sure, Meghan has accomplished no shortage of high-paying gigs. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Meghan Markle's Net Worth?," 16 Apr. 2019 This year’s exact figure could rise or fall when teams set opening-day rosters Thursday. Ronald Blum, The Seattle Times, "AP study: MLB average salary on track for 2nd straight drop," 26 Mar. 2019

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

20 May 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 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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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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