Meaning of EXACT in English


I. ex ‧ act 1 S3 /ɪɡˈzækt/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: exactus , past participle of exigere ; ⇨ ↑ exact 2 ]

1 . completely correct in every detail:

Police are still investigating the exact cause of the accident.

What were his exact words?

The timing had to be exact.

exact location/position/spot etc

The exact location of the hostages is unknown.

exact date/time/number/amount etc

I know her birthday’s in July, but I can’t remember the exact date.

exact copy/replica etc

It’s not an exact copy, but most people wouldn’t notice the difference.

Some concepts in Chinese medicine have no exact equivalent in Western medicine.

2 . to be exact formal used to emphasize that what you are saying is exact:

She has worked at the bank for many years, nine to be exact.

3 . the exact colour/moment/type etc used to emphasize that the same thing is involved:

the exact colour I was looking for

He came into the room at the exact moment I mentioned his name.

That’s the exact same thing my dad said.

4 . the exact opposite (of somebody/something) someone or something that is as different as possible from another person or thing:

Gina’s the exact opposite of her little sister.

5 . something is not an exact science if you say that an activity is not an exact science, you mean that it involves opinions, guessing etc:

Predicting the weather is not an exact science.

6 . someone who is exact is very careful and thorough in what they do SYN precise

—exactness noun [uncountable]

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■ nouns

▪ the exact amount/number/figure

I don’t know the exact amount, but it was a lot.

▪ the exact size

First, cut a piece of wood about 1cm x 10cm – the exact size doesn’t matter.

▪ the exact date

He plans to retire soon, but the exact date is not fixed.

▪ the exact time/moment

At that exact moment, the phone rang.

▪ the exact position/location/spot etc

The satellite pictures showed the enemy’s exact location.

▪ an exact copy/replica (=something which has been made, that is exactly like another thing)

The vessel is an exact replica of a Viking longboat.

▪ an exact equivalent (=something that has exactly the same meaning, purpose, value etc as something else)

There is no exact equivalent in English for the phrase.

▪ an exact match (=something that is exactly the same as something else)

The two DNA samples were an exact match.

▪ the exact details (=details that are correct in every way)

Nobody knows the exact details of what happened.

▪ sb’s exact words (=the words someone actually said)

Try to remember his exact words – it’s very important.

▪ the exact wording (=the words that were used in a letter, speech, etc, with nothing changed)

What was the exact wording of the message?

■ phrases

▪ the exact same thing/way etc informal (=exactly the same thing/way etc)

If you’d been there, you’d have done the exact same thing.

• • •


▪ exact an exact number, amount, or time is completely correct and is no more and no less than it should be:

The exact weight of the baby at birth was 3.2 kg.


The exact time is 8:16 a.m.

▪ precise precise information is based on clear and exact figures or measurements, especially when it is important that no mistakes are made:

We need to know your precise location.


It’s difficult to be precise about the number of deaths caused by smoking.

▪ accurate completely correct because all the details are true:

The witness tried to give an accurate description of what she had seen.


accurate financial forecasts

II. exact 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: past participle of exigere 'to drive out, demand, measure' , from agere 'to drive' ]

1 . formal to demand and get something from someone by using threats, force etc

exact something from somebody

I exacted a promise from Ros that she wouldn’t say a word.

2 . exact revenge (on somebody) if someone exacts revenge, they punish a person who has harmed them:

Leonard was determined to exact revenge on his wife’s killer.

3 . exact a high/heavy price if something exacts a high or a heavy price, it has a very bad effect on a person or on a situation:

The years of conflict have exacted a heavy price.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.