in·​ex·​act | \ˌi-nig-ˈzakt \

Definition of inexact 

1 : not precisely correct or true : inaccurate an inexact translation

2 : not rigorous and careful an inexact thinker

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Other Words from inexact

inexactly \ˌi-​nig-​ˈzak(t)-​lē \ adverb
inexactness \ˌi-​nig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs \ noun

Examples of inexact in a Sentence

The measurements were somewhat inexact, but they were close enough. a thousand is an inexact figure for the number of islands in the St. Lawrence River

Recent Examples on the Web

Estimating crowd size is an inexact science even when the crowd is stationary. Dara Lind, Vox, "The migrant caravan, explained," 24 Oct. 2018 Trump has previously made claims of superior numbers that have proved inexact, if not false. John Wagner, Washington Post, "Trump says his State of the Union viewership was the highest ever. The ratings say otherwise.," 1 Feb. 2018 Comparisons between then and now are obviously inexact, but, to me, the most poignant is our government’s attitude towards war refugees from Syria. Trudy Rubin,, "New Holocaust Museum exhibit reminds of how U.S. rejected desperate refugees before | Trudy Rubin," 3 July 2018 With his play, Kuzma showed that projecting how a college player might translate to the NBA is an inexact science. Tania Ganguli,, "Lakers could look to improve their shooting in draft," 21 June 2018 The delineation between user and dealer is inexact and often illusory. Josie Duffy Rice, The Atlantic, "The Gospel According to Pusha T," 12 July 2018 The inexact nature of their job, one that sometimes affords an opportunity for redemption one day after failure, ostensibly makes flushing the woes easy. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Brad Peacock rebounds in June after a rough May," 30 June 2018 Predicting whether individuals will hurt themselves or others can be a difficult and inexact science, even for the most skilled mental-health providers. Nathaniel Morris, Washington Post, "We need to rethink mental health laws. But not because of mass shootings.," 2 Mar. 2018 Right now, the Fed raises or lowers interest rates to influence macroeconomic policy—an inexact tool. David Dayen, The New Republic, "Give Everyone Government Bank Accounts," 13 June 2018

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

circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inexact

French, from in- + exact exact

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Statistics for inexact

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inexact

The first known use of inexact was circa 1828

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More Definitions for inexact



English Language Learners Definition of inexact

: not completely correct or precise : not exact


in·​ex·​act | \ˌi-nig-ˈzakt \

Kids Definition of inexact

: inaccurate an inexact measurement

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More from Merriam-Webster on inexact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inexact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inexact

Spanish Central: Translation of inexact

Nglish: Translation of inexact for Spanish Speakers

Comments on inexact

What made you want to look up inexact? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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