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exactly Line breaks: exact¦ly
Pronunciation: /ɪɡˈzak(t)li/

Definition of exactly in English:


1Used to emphasize the accuracy of a figure or description: they met in 1989 and got married exactly two years later
More example sentences
  • The first electron micrograph in each figure shows exactly which part was examined.
  • It is too painful and distressing for me to describe in detail exactly what happened.
  • The brothel turned out, when I went to check it out, to be exactly as Phillip described it.
informal on the nail, bang on, spot on, to a T
North American informal on the money
accurately, precisely, correctly, without error, without flaws, without mistakes, unerringly, faultlessly, perfectly;
verbatim, word for word, letter for letter, to the letter, literally, closely, faithfully, in every detail, with strict attention to detail
1.1In exact terms; without vagueness: what exactly are you looking for?
More example sentences
  • He doesn't pull any punches and he lets you know in no uncertain terms exactly what he wants from you.
  • I'm not sure what bird it is exactly, it's definitely a raptor, and looks like a huge hawk.
  • We now know exactly what Lancashire has done in terms of modernisation, and what is needed.
2Used as a reply to confirm or agree with what has just been said: ‘You mean that you’re going to tell me the truth?’ ‘Exactly.’


not exactly
1Not at all: that too was not exactly convincing
More example sentences
  • It is not exactly a new concept, but buyers have to be convinced that it is indeed gold.
  • I have quite a collection of it, and though it's not exactly an investment collection, I love it.
  • Being February, it's not exactly mobbed, but the weather is holding up quite well.
by no means, not by any means, not, not at all, in no way, certainly not;
not really
2Not quite but close to being: not exactly agitated, but disturbed
More example sentences
  • You're not exactly here and you're not quite there, you're somewhere else in limbo.
  • While it may not exactly be a war just yet, there is quite clearly rising tension between these two clubs.
  • Although not exactly a culinary crescendo, this turned out to be the high point of a meal that never really got out of first gear.
Definition of exactly in:
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