American English

Definition of exactly adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ɪɡˈzækli//
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  1. 1used to emphasize that something is correct in every way or in every detail synonym precisely I know exactly how she felt. Do exactly as I tell you. It happened almost exactly a year ago. It's exactly nine o'clock. You haven't changed at all—you still look exactly the same. His words had exactly the opposite effect. Your answer is exactly right. It was a warm day, if not exactly hot.
  2. 2(informal) used to ask for more information about something Where exactly did you stay in France? (disapproving) Exactly what are you trying to tell me?
  3. 3used as a reply, agreeing with what someone has just said, or emphasizing that it is correct “You mean someone in this room must be the murderer?” “Exactly.”
  4. Idioms
      not exactly (informal)
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    1. 1used when you are saying the opposite of what you really mean He wasn't exactly pleased to see us—in fact he refused to open the door. It's not exactly beautiful, is it? (= it's ugly)
    2. 2used when you are correcting something that someone has said “So he told you you'd get the job?” “Not exactly, but he said they were impressed with me.”
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: exactly