Definition of exaction in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The action of demanding and obtaining something from someone, especially a payment.

    ‘he supervised the exaction of tolls at various ports’
    • ‘Redemption is the restoration of balance by the exaction of punishment or a payment in punishment's place (a satisfaction), a punishment proportionate to the position in the hierarchy of the one offended.’
    • ‘Tax exaction became centralized, more efficient, and less expensive.’
    • ‘So far as the Norman kings were concerned it could only be a question of overlordship, of reprisals against Scottish and Welsh raids, and, perhaps, the exaction of tribute from subordinate kings.’
    • ‘Again, however, the central point is that the redistribution resulted from Soviet choice, rather than from American exaction.’
    • ‘Collected under direct military pressure, these allowed exactions of money and payments in kind at considerably higher rates than any civil system permitted.’
    • ‘His ruthless exaction of tribute from the areas where his army operated led to his dismissal at the demand of the German electors in 1630.’
    • ‘In fact, freed of the crushing exactions laid upon them by a Rome always eager to bribe its vast, unproductive military class into quietude, they may even have been left to enjoy more of the fruits of their own labors than usual.’
    • ‘Norman ducal revenues were insufficient to meet even the cost of garrisoning its defences and so, to fund Richard's seemingly never-ending wars against Philip, England was subjected to unprecedented levels of financial exaction.’
    • ‘Taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions.’
    • ‘By shifting the balance of tax exaction to consumption taxes, the government was able to reap the benefits of the growth in conspicuous consumption associated with the rise of the middling classes.’
    • ‘Taking the primary definition as it was, how then did section 16 operate as to the exaction of the payment to the revenue?’
    • ‘Similarly, the exaction of stiff reprisals for unexpected attacks on troops remote from the fighting front might cow the local population, or might stimulate them to more aggressive resistance.’
    • ‘His armpits start smelling of meat; he becomes an urban caveman, forever subjecting Russia to ‘the detailed exaction of his connubial rights’.’
    • ‘However, the abuses that most affect ordinary Burmese-the expropriation of land, the conscription of labor, the arbitrary exaction of goods and funds, and the disastrously failing economy-are the products of state failure.’
    • ‘Indeed, in a bull of 1212, Pope Innocent III relaxed the obligations of prior oaths and forbade the exaction of similar oaths in the future.’
    • ‘This was followed by the further exaction from China of the right to build a railway through the Liaodong peninsula to the border of Korea; Liaodong, so recently saved from Japan, now passed into Russian control.’
    • ‘As I have attempted to submit in paragraph 5.8, it can constitute an equitable fraud because such a failure results in an improper exaction of income tax to the financial detriment of the taxpayer.’
    • ‘After taxes, and other exactions including, in many cases, rent, the peasantry had not enough left to rear sufficient children to counterbalance the high death rate.’
    • ‘As it this was not enough to drain the resource of the mainly Catholic tenants, there was the exaction of money from the impoverished Catholics by the parsons.’
    • ‘In economic terms, the exaction which was being delivered could be thought of as a tax on land value or recoupment of community benefit.’
    demanding money with menaces, exaction, extraction, blackmail
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]A sum of money exacted from someone.
      ‘the billions flow in through 28 taxes and countless smaller exactions’
      • ‘The productive had to bear ever greater tax burdens in order to support the growing numbers of degenerates, and higher fiscal exactions naturally persuaded the prudent middle classes to go in for practices of family limitation.’
      • ‘Rising tax exactions invariably dampened the spirits of charity.’
      • ‘Apart from demanding an increase in wages, they demanded that the military stop collecting illegal exactions from the truck drivers at the gates.’
      • ‘On his estate, rents were collected, a grace period given if needed, but no other exactions were demanded.’
      • ‘Until about 1825 a long slight inflation had kept peasant incomes abreast of the increasing exactions of the official and sub-official classes.’


Late Middle English: from Latin exactio(n-), from exigere ascertain, perfect, enforce (see exact).