ex·​act·​ing | \ ig-ˈzak-tiŋ How to pronounce exacting (audio) \

Definition of exacting

1 : tryingly or unremittingly severe in making demands
2 : requiring careful attention and precision

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Other Words from exacting

exactingly \ ig-​ˈzak-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce exacting (audio) \ adverb
exactingness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exacting

onerous, burdensome, oppressive, exacting mean imposing hardship. onerous stresses being laborious and heavy especially because distasteful. the onerous task of cleaning up the mess burdensome suggests causing mental as well as physical strain. burdensome responsibilities oppressive implies extreme harshness or severity in what is imposed. the oppressive tyranny of a police state exacting implies rigor or sternness rather than tyranny or injustice in the demands made or in the one demanding. an exacting employer

Examples of exacting in a Sentence

He has very exacting standards. he was shocked when his normally exacting supervisor complimented him on a job well done
Recent Examples on the Web What Chastain and Isaac created was claustrophobic, exacting, awful, and hot. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 10 Oct. 2021 Because of his cinematic pedigree and near-consistent box office success, those who have worked with Nolan before attest his contracts are more exacting than his peers’. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 14 Sep. 2021 That’s typically an exacting and deliberate process, often taking years. oregonlive, 11 Sep. 2021 That’s typically an exacting and deliberate process, often taking years. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2021 In theaters and HBO Max. Wes Anderson brings his typical exacting style to this story about love, war, and newspapers, printed, of course, in black-and-white, just like the news itself. Christopher Ros, Glamour, 12 Aug. 2021 But over the past decade or so, the processes have become much more exacting. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 9 Apr. 2021 Its machines do simple work, like heat stamping, fastener insertion and pad printing that are basic, exacting and repetitive — and the type of jobs that small factories have had trouble hiring enough people to do. Amy Feldman, Forbes, 6 Apr. 2021 Yet the last-minute amendments will allow Facebook and other tech companies to avoid the code’s most exacting terms if they are deemed to be contributing enough. The Economist, 24 Feb. 2021

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

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exacting

from present participle of exact entry 1

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Time Traveler for exacting

Time Traveler

The first known use of exacting was in 1634

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Dictionary Entries Near exacting

exact differential



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Statistics for exacting

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exacting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exacting. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of exacting

: requiring much time, attention, or effort from someone : very difficult or demanding


ex·​act·​ing | \ ig-ˈzak-tiŋ How to pronounce exacting (audio) \

Kids Definition of exacting

: expecting a lot from a person an exacting teacher

More from Merriam-Webster on exacting

Nglish: Translation of exacting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exacting for Arabic Speakers


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