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English definition of “exactly”

exactly

adverb     /ɪɡˈzækt.li/
A2 used when you are giving or asking for information that is completely correct : The journey took exactly three hours . That'll be £15 exactly, please . It tastes exactly the same as the real thing, but has half the fat . The building looks exactly as it did when it was built in 1877. "What you seem to be saying is that more should be invested in the road system and less in the railways ." "Exactly" (= that is correct ).Accurate and exact B1 used to emphasize what you are saying: Do exactly what I tell you and no one will get hurt ! Exactly how do you propose to achieve this? What exactly do you mean ?Stressing and emphasizing not exactly used for saying that someone or something is slightly different from a particular way of describing him, her, or it: He's not exactly good-looking , but he has a certain attraction . B2 used for saying that something is not completely true : "So you gave her your iPod ?" "Not exactly, I lent it to her." used for saying that something is the opposite of a particular way of describing it: Answer the question - it's not exactly difficult .
(Definition of exactly adverb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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