Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “exactly”

exactly

adverb uk   /ɪɡˈzækt.li/ us  
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). 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? 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 from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of exactly?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “exactly” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

wave

to raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting someone, telling someone to do something, or adding emphasis to an expression

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More