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 inexactly (audio) \ adverb
inexactness \ ˌi-​nig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs How to pronounce inexactness (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

But forecasting demand is still an inexact science. Lydia Depillis, CNN, "America's addiction to absurdly fast shipping has a hidden cost," 15 July 2019 While recruiting is an inexact science, the Elite 11 track record speaks for itself. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Harrison Bailey looks to be Tennessee's quarterback of future," 11 July 2019 In theory, the list of possible running backs that could win the award is countless, so the compilation of this list is admittedly inexact. Caleb Friedman,, "The 117 College Football Players Who Could Win the 2019 Heisman Trophy," 10 June 2019 And even an inexact forecast provides more insight than no forecast at all. The Economist, "For now, residential-property prices are likely to keep rising," 29 June 2019 That is to say, translating youth results into senior results is an inexact science. Avi Creditor,, "As With Every Youth World Cup, It's About What Happens Next," 8 June 2019 Data on elephant populations and human-elephant conflict are inexact. Max Bearak, Washington Post, "‘I hate elephants’: Behind the backlash against Botswana’s giants," 7 June 2019 Indeed, the maps have been long been viewed as inexact. David W. Chen, New York Times, "In New York, Drawing Flood Maps Is a ‘Game of Inches’," 7 Jan. 2018 Farmers use a small kitchen scale to weigh the cotton, in an inexact process. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Uzbekistan Aims to End Forced Labor in Cotton Fields," 17 Dec. 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

29 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce inexact (audio) \

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 make or get by devious means

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