verb (used with object)

to call for, demand, or require: to exact respect from one's children.
to force or compel the payment, yielding, or performance of: to exact money; to exact tribute from a conquered people.

Origin of exact

1400–50; late Middle English exacten (v.) < Latin exāctus (past participle of exigere drive out, thrust out), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + ag(ere) to drive + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsex·act·a·ble, adjectiveex·act·er, ex·ac·tor, nounex·act·ness, nounnon·ex·act·a·ble, adjectivepre·ex·act, adjective, verb (used with object)qua·si-ex·act, adjectivequa·si-ex·act·ly, adverbun·ex·act·ed, adjective

Synonyms for exact

Antonyms for exact

1, 2. imprecise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exactness

Contemporary Examples of exactness

Historical Examples of exactness

  • Beyond that, as yet, there was little to be said of him with exactness.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • That cottage was drawn with an exactness that proved how fresh it was in her remembrance.

  • The commissioners performed their work with much care and exactness.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • The vow of obedience was observed with the most p. 60rigorous exactness.

  • I speak generally, and not with any pretension to exactness.

British Dictionary definitions for exactness



correct in every detail; strictly accuratean exact copy
precise, as opposed to approximate; neither more nor lessthe exact sum
(prenominal) specific; particularthis exact spot
operating with very great precisionexact instruments
allowing no deviation from a standard; rigorous; strictan exact mind
based mainly on measurement and the formulation of laws, as opposed to description and classificationphysics is an exact science

verb (tr)

to force or compel (payment or performance); extortto exact tribute
to demand as a right; insist uponto exact respect from one's employees
to call for or requirethis work exacts careful effort
Derived Formsexactable, adjectiveexactness, nounexactor or exacter, noun

Word Origin for exact

C16: from Latin exactus driven out, from exigere to drive forth, from agere to drive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for exactness

1560s, "perfection," from exact (adj.) + -ness. Meaning "precision" is 1640s.



"precise, rigorous, accurate," 1530s, from Latin exactus "precise, accurate, exact," past participle of exigere "demand, require," literally "to drive or force out," also "demand, finish, measure," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + agere "drive, lead, act" (see act).



mid-15c., from Latin exactus, past participle of exigere (see exact (adj.)). Older in English than the adjective and retaining the literal sense of the Latin source. Related: Exacted; exacting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper