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

Police later determined the 18-year-old scholar was the unintentional target of gang members who wanted to exact revenge on another party-goer. San Diego Union-Tribune, "1994 killing rocked community," 17 June 2019 The modest Missouri side exacted revenge despite the immense on-the-pitch and economic gaps between the two clubs. José Luis Sánchez Pando, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Fire add another failure in the US Open Cup," 12 June 2019 Pietersen exacted his revenge with the winning conversion. Griff Lacey / San Diego Legion, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Legion win in closing seconds, will host MLR championship match," 9 June 2019 Voters exacted brutal revenge at the ballot box for the failure of the political class to deliver the Brexit that Britain voted for in 2016. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Britain’s Biggest Losers," 5 May 2019 Many health insurers already exact a smoker’s surcharge, said Adam Johnson the QuoteWizard research analyst behind the study. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Amid unchecked vaping, Carmel to consider ban on e-cigs in public spaces," 13 June 2019 Some of the qualities that make a TRD Pro excellent off-road—solid rear axle, towering ground clearance, Nitto Terra Grappler all-terrain tires—exact a penalty on the asphalt trail. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Why the 2019 Toyota 4Runner Defies Rationality," 29 May 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The American public feels the exact opposite, Pew found. Donovan Slack, USA TODAY, "Majority of veterans say U.S. military campaigns in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan not worth it, poll finds," 10 July 2019 The unparalleled array of three dozen 17th century Dutch masterpieces collected by the late Edward and Hannah Carter is the exact opposite of an accident. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "An open letter to LACMA architect Peter Zumthor: Stop dissing L.A.’s art," 9 July 2019 The smear campaign is the exact opposite of how smart NBA teams do business. Michael Rosenberg, SI.com, "All Cap Space, No Substance: Knicks Think They’re Something, but They’re Nothing," 1 July 2019 While the exact cause of breast cancer hasn’t been identified, it is known that the disease occurs when some breast cells begin growing abnormally. Ladan Nikravan Hayes, Cincinnati.com, "‘Let’s Talk’: These traits increase the risk of developing breast cancer," 26 June 2019 It is believed that Etika died by suicide, but the NYPD announced an investigation into Etika's exact cause of death. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "YouTube Star Etika Has Been Found Dead and Pewdiepie and James Charles Pay Tribute To Him," 26 June 2019 It’s often the case in Washington that the title of a bill communicates the exact opposite of its content or effect. David French, National Review, "Josh Hawley’s Internet Censorship Bill Is an Unwise, Unconstitutional Mess," 20 June 2019 Plantation Fire Rescue said the exact cause is under investigation. Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward Public Defender loses home, three pets in Plantation fire," 17 June 2019 But the Marvel-Netflix universe might particularly linger in fans’ minds because the exact cause of its series’ abrupt ends has been unclear. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Marvel-Netflix Universe’s Final Hero," 14 June 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

15 Jul 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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