in·​ex·​act | \ ˌi-nig-ˈzakt How to pronounce inexact (audio) \

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 How to pronounce inexact (audio) \ adverb
inexactness \ ˌi-​nig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs How to pronounce inexact (audio) \ 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 Much of forensic science was maddeningly inexact in the late 1980s when four West Side teenagers were tried for the gruesome abduction, rape and murder of 23-year-old Rush University medical student Lori Roscetti. Eric Zorn,, "Column: Patrick O’Brien needs to own up to his role in bungled case," 1 Sep. 2020 Of course, the parallels between 1918 and today are inexact. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "How America’s Newspapers Covered Up a Pandemic," 31 Mar. 2020 Final verdict While 2019 performances can give some insight into next year’s frontrunners, predicting Heisman winners can be an inexact science. Destine Gibson, Dallas News, "Making the Heisman case for (and against) Baylor QB Charlie Brewer," 2 Apr. 2020 The pupusas — savory cakes of masa harina, fine corn flour that Ms. Marroquin mixes with nothing more than cold water — are soft and thick, their curves comfortingly inexact, patted into shape by hand. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "A Not-Quite-Restaurant Faces the New Reality," 17 Mar. 2020 While polling is an inexact science, none of the three polls released Tuesday had Sessions in the lead. Paul Gattis |, al, "Change of strategy: Now Sessions wants Senate debate," 10 Mar. 2020 Conducted by government researchers with funding from nut producers, the studies show the inexact method of determining calorie counts established more than a century ago. Candice Choi,, "Changing counts show calorie measures to be inexact science," 4 Feb. 2020 That’s an example of a money rule of thumb that is imperfect but useful, which is the idea — inexact starting points for goals, conversations and calculations. Washington Post, "Millennial Money: Money rules of thumb can be handy," 24 Dec. 2019 But there’s much less inexact about a stopwatch, when placed against the context of a prospect’s high school film. Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "Analysis: What Notre Dame football added with its 2020 recruiting class," 20 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for inexact

Time Traveler

The first known use of inexact was circa 1828

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Cite this Entry

“Inexact.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce inexact (audio) \

Kids Definition of inexact

: inaccurate an inexact measurement

More from Merriam-Webster on inexact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inexact

Nglish: Translation of inexact for Spanish Speakers

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