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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ex·actor, ex·acter n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.