Meaning of “precisely” in the English Dictionary

"precisely" in British English

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preciselyadverb

uk /prɪˈsaɪs.li/ us /prəˈsaɪs.li/

precisely adverb (EXACTLY)

B2 exactly:

The fireworks begin at eight o'clock precisely.
What do you think the problem is, precisely?

B2 used to emphasize what you are saying:

"You look tired - you should go home and rest." "I'm going to do precisely that."
But it's precisely because of the noise that they're thinking of moving.

C1 used to express complete agreement with someone or suggest that what they have said is obvious:

"It would be stupid to attempt the journey in the dark." "Precisely!" he answered.

More examples

  • It's precisely that sort of slick sales talk that I mistrust.
  • It is not possible to pinpoint precisely the time of death.
  • That's precisely the sort of behaviour that I really dislike.
  • She told you that precisely because she wants you to feel sorry for her.
  • And how, precisely, do you propose we should deal with this problem?

(Definition of “precisely” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"precisely" in American English

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preciselyadverb

us /prɪˈsɑɪs·li/

Precisely is also used to emphasize the accuracy of what you are saying:

Armed conflict is precisely what the government is trying to avoid.

(Definition of “precisely” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)