Definition of exact in English:



  • 1Not approximated in any way; precise.

    ‘the exact details were still being worked out’
    • ‘And the thought is we can pull down the nebulous notion of beauty and make it exact and precise when we tie it to the notion of function; but in fact this doesn't work very well.’
    • ‘Both exact and approximate solutions to the problem have been developed.’
    • ‘As time progressed and more and more constraints and policies were put into force we became more and more aware of the need for exact and very precise entries in these documents.’
    • ‘At an inquest into his death last November, a post-mortem examination failed to establish an exact cause of death but it was confirmed there were no suspicious injuries.’
    • ‘This is because pension trustees have a lot more discretion on deciding the exact definition of a ‘dependant’ in this situation.’
    • ‘He could not confirm exact details about the gases which did escape but said they were not thought to be highly toxic.’
    • ‘You can also adjust three bars, like a graphic equaliser, controlling how recently the page was updated, how popular the site is and whether it is an exact or approximate word match.’
    • ‘Again, these results are exact, not approximations.’
    • ‘Every move is exact, precise, has purpose, shows rather than alludes, directs rather than suggests, shapes rather than evokes.’
    • ‘Officials also need to establish an exact definition of which unmarried partners should be entitled to pension benefits.’
    • ‘Astrophysicists can search for shadows by applying Newton's method, a mathematical way to refine approximate solutions into exact ones.’
    • ‘The photos above come to you from Germany, near the border with France, at approximately the exact center of Western Europe.’
    • ‘The team's remit has also been to establish the exact chronology of events and actions taken following the confirmation of the case on April 21.’
    • ‘In the second book he gave exact and approximate methods to construct regular polygons.’
    • ‘Instead of using exact results, we approximated the chop zone probabilities by bounding the number of indel events, and the indel lengths per event.’
    • ‘He gives precise details of the exact altitude of various well known stars at the moment of first contact.’
    • ‘We are endeavouring to establish the exact details of what has happened.’
    • ‘Generally, however, the difference between the exact and approximate solutions is not large, and overall trends are maintained.’
    • ‘They've also confirmed the exact details of their site in Waterford.’
    • ‘Recent advances in our understanding of Palaeozoic tectonics, and in the precise dating of tectonic events require exact definitions of terminology.’
    definite, fixed, settled, decided, established, confirmed, agreed, clear-cut, concrete, hard and fast
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    1. 1.1 Accurate or correct in all details.
      ‘an exact replica, two feet tall, was constructed’
      • ‘It is an exact replica of the fountain in Versailles, just twice as large, and with those measurements it is one of the largest free-standing fountains in the world.’
      • ‘And the oval office in this library is the exact replica.’
      • ‘The PCA spokesman said the weapon used by Larkins, who was unemployed, was an 8mm blank-firing weapon that was an exact replica of a police Glock handgun.’
      • ‘I felt like a monkey in a cage to be correctly exact.’
      • ‘I have since purchased exact, working replicas of Jerry and Knuck, which sit around my house and do a great job of scaring my maid every single time she walks into the room.’
      • ‘The Legacy Lantern stands an impressive 2.5 metres high and is an exact replica of the Legacy symbol (a torch with a wreath of laurel).’
      • ‘A particular target is expected to be descendants of Scots living in the United States where an exact replica of Burns' birthplace has been built in a park in Atlanta, Georgia.’
      • ‘The member did not read out correctly either the exact quote of what the Minister said or what is written here on the Order Paper.’
      • ‘Except for the school chaplain, who harped on about how Sunny was the exact replica of all the other students at the school, and so proud of the school motto… yeah right.’
      • ‘The Lascaux cave was closed to the public in 1963, but an exact replica has been constructed 200 metres away for visitors to see.’
      • ‘Carefully mocked up on City of York Council headed notepaper, the letter that landed on our desk is an exact replica of those sent out to local residents asking for comments on a new planning application.’
      • ‘Alongside the Earl will be the Matthew of Bristol, an exact replica of the original ship captained by John Cabot more than 500 years ago that is believed to have made it to America before Columbus.’
      • ‘Dr Freeman found that the main facade was relatively intact, although a flank wall needed to be rebuilt, some surviving bricks being chemically analysed to enable exact replicas to be made.’
      • ‘The model, which is currently being built to a scale of 1 to 50, is an exact replica of the the Admiral's flagship, and will be completed in May.’
      • ‘The Viking museum in Roskilde has recently completed an exact replica of an 11 th century Irish built longship which will soon set sail to Ireland.’
      • ‘The apartment was extremely close to being an exact replica of the Scott's.’
      • ‘The 1996 election was almost an exact replica of the 1992 one.’
      • ‘The word ‘copy’ implies an exact replica in size and detail.’
      • ‘Although, there are no mixing flaws, one could always criticize it for track selection and the fact that you know this CD is an exact replica of the set he is repeating city after city.’
      • ‘He has, apparently, perfected a procedure that can re-impregnate Jessie with an exact genetic replica of her son.’
      precise, accurate, correct, faithful, close, true, veracious, literal, strict, unerring, faultless, errorless, error-free, perfect, impeccable
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    2. 1.2 (of a person) accurate and careful about minor details.
      ‘she was an exact, clever manager’
      • ‘I am saying that I am not a member of your French culture, but I will not be a member of American culture, here; I am an exact entity, exact person.’
      careful, meticulous, painstaking, precise, punctilious, conscientious, rigorous, scrupulous, exacting
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    3. 1.3 (of a subject of study) permitting precise measurements as a basis for rigorously testable theories.
      ‘psychomedicine isn't an exact science yet’
      • ‘Share price valuation is not an exact science and is subject to assumptions that take into account many different parameters.’
      • ‘I would like to say the following in addition: Lyndon LaRouche applies the method of the exact sciences, economics.’
      • ‘How drugs react in a horse's system is not an exact science.’
      • ‘The old stone quarry is becoming a scientific center; philosophy, theology, exact sciences and biomedical sciences will be studied here.’
      • ‘We must stress that assessing the security level of a cipher system is not an exact science.’
      • ‘But Mr Considine argued that tax forecasting was not an exact science and was subject to shifts in economic growth, which were difficult to predict.’


[with object]
  • 1Demand and obtain (something) from someone.

    ‘he exacted promises that another Watergate would never be allowed to happen’
    • ‘In a hierarchical conception of reality, the particular human being cannot defend his or her rights by demanding or exacting them independently of the whole.’
    • ‘The Wars of Napoleon had exacted a terrible price; total military and civilian deaths brought about by war numbered as high as four or five million.’
    • ‘The frenetic pace of modern life, the dominance of capital, hype, noise and speed is exacting a terrible price on the people of God struggling to be faithful.’
    • ‘A number of armed dissidents were apparently accounted for, but it was the innocent civilian population upon whom a terrible toll was exacted.’
    • ‘The judge had exacted a terrible sentence on the guilty prisoners in his annoyance with the Jury's verdict who had gone totally against his guidance during the summing up.’
    • ‘China's notoriously dangerous mining industry has exacted a terrible toll in the first four months of 2003.’
    • ‘Recovery was permitted only in cases in which money was exacted under an unlawful demand by a public authority where the payment was made under a mistake of fact of under compulsion of some kind.’
    • ‘The associated fighting exacted a terrible price of more than 3.5 million deaths, mainly from starvation and disease, according to aid agency estimates; the worst death toll since the Second World War.’
    • ‘God would have exacted the pledge he required; the sacrifice would have taken place in that the death sentence had been pronounced.’
    • ‘Physical safety and creature comforts exact a terrible price in that regard.’
    • ‘The witch had exacted a terrible price from the mermaid - she would have legs, lovely legs, but she would never be quite like the humans around her.’
    • ‘The summer marked the end of the campaigning season and having exacted some sort of tribute, taken hostages, and agreed some kind of alliance, Caesar returned to Gaul.’
    • ‘In no case should an institution exact a price for these accommodations by demanding higher levels of productivity in exchange.’
    • ‘So maybe what he's saying is that if they fail to produce the ring or any information, he'll exact expectation damages.’
    • ‘However, his Fianna Fail cabinet colleagues exacted it as the price for passing his much-needed defamation bill.’
    • ‘The social pressures which forced pregnant teenagers and unwed mothers to relinquish their babies exacted an enormous price.’
    • ‘I wonder if years of free aisle seats exact another sort of price: the ability to genuinely react and engage.’
    • ‘Land mines continue to exact a terrible toll on civilian populations around the world.’
    • ‘Demands for technical proficiency and joint capability have exacted a price on today's officers in the form of complex and extended career and professional military education demands.’
    • ‘Crucially the monarch's capacity to exact the obedience he commands is, however, immediately challenged.’
    demand, require, insist on, command, call for, impose, request, ask for, expect, look for
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    1. 1.1 Inflict (revenge) on someone.
      ‘he exacts a cruel revenge against the winning candidate’
      • ‘To cartoon ‘The Chief’, as he was known by his worshippers, was definitely blasphemous and vengeance had to be exacted.’
      • ‘As in Greek tragedy, the past exacts its revenges.’
      • ‘I, personally, look forward to then spending the rest of my life hunting them down, per narrative convention, and exacting elaborately plotted revenge.’
      • ‘His mind conjured the most amazing, most subtle and cruel plan to exact his revenge.’
      • ‘He never forgets any slight delivered upon him, and exacts revenge whenever and wherever possible.’
      • ‘Now something I have only dreamed of happens - the son of that killer falls into my lap, and I can exact an even more acute form of revenge than I first expected.’
      • ‘He escapes, reinvents himself as a count and starts to exact cold, calculated revenge.’
      • ‘And now, with so many other lives being taken away so quickly, retribution must be exacted.’
      • ‘But, after getting treatment, he was unable to exact a more lasting revenge as he slammed his spot kick to the World Cup winner's right, allowing him to make an easy save.’
      • ‘It is commonplace now to remark on the revenge exacted at Versailles.’
      • ‘Using as his model the ten plagues of the Pharaohs from the Old Testament, he exacts his cruel revenge on the nine medical people involved using rats, bats, locusts, and hail, among others.’
      • ‘The woman remains peaceful because, after ten years, vengeance has been exacted against her husband.’
      • ‘Never take a slight personally, just sit back and wait until you can exact your cruel verbal revenge.’
      • ‘His whole life seems bent on exacting his own revenge on people.’
      • ‘Her vicious treatment of him prompts the circus freaks to band together and exact their own terrible revenge.’
      • ‘Three years later the father of the murdered man turns up at a Jewish family wedding and exacts his own private revenge.’
      • ‘And, if it thinks it faces a terrorist threat now, you can only imagine what kind of retribution would be exacted.’
      • ‘Before you know it, they realize the errors of their ways, and the Richard character is being tortured and exacting misogynistic revenge.’
      • ‘They murdered all the members of Caligula's family, so there should be no one in whose name retribution might be exacted.’
      • ‘Arguably, to exact revenge or punishment by means of agricultural devastation was the essence of Greek warfare.’
      inflict, impose, deliver, administer, issue, apply
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Late Middle English (as a verb): from Latin exact- ‘completed, ascertained, enforced’, from the verb exigere, from ex- ‘thoroughly’ + agere ‘perform’. The adjective dates from the mid 16th century and reflects the Latin exactus ‘precise’.