Also found in: Thesaurus.


1. Strictly and completely in accord with fact; not deviating from truth or reality: an exact account; an exact replica; your exact words.
2. Characterized by accurate measurements or inferences with small margins of error; not approximate: an exact figure; an exact science.
3. Characterized by strict adherence to standards or rules: an exact speaker.
tr.v. ex·act·ed, ex·act·ing, ex·acts
1. To force the payment or yielding of; extort: exact tribute from a conquered people.
2. To demand and obtain by force or authority: a harsh leader who exacts obedience.
3. To inflict (vengeance or punishment, for example).

[Latin exāctus, past participle of exigere, to weigh out, demand : ex-, ex- + agere, to weigh; see ag- in Indo-European roots.]

ex·act′a·ble adj.
ex·act′ness n.
ex·ac′tor, ex·act′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
And the fourth, is the poller and exacter of fees; which justifies the common resemblance of the courts of justice, to the bush whereunto, while the sheep flies for defence in weather, he is sure to lose part of his fleece.
How then, will anyone call that man sane who, as though seized by a hurricane, does not walk but is driven along, and serves a raging evil, who does not entrust his revenge to another, but is himself the exacter, and thus ferocious alike in mind and hand, becomes the executioner of those who are dearest and those things which, when lost, he will weep?
unseen, with exacter measures, with better poems, celebrations of a