Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Making severe demands; rigorous: an exacting instructor.
  • adj. Requiring great care, effort, or attention: an exacting task. See Synonyms at burdensome.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Making excessive demands; hard to satisfy.
  • adj. Requiring precise accuracy
  • v. Present participle of exact.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Oppressive or unreasonably severe in making demands or requiring the exact fulfillment of obligations; harsh; severe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Given to or characterized by exaction; severe in requirement or requisition; exigent in action or procedure: as, an exacting master; an exacting inquiry.
  • Attended by exaction; requiring close attention or application; arduous; laborious; absorbing: as, an exacting office or employment; exacting duties; exacting demands upon one's time.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. requiring precise accuracy
  • adj. severe and unremitting in making demands
  • adj. having complicated nutritional requirements; especially growing only in special artificial cultures

Etymologies

From exact + -ing (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I am obsessive about outlining, and the majority of any writing project is actually spent mapping out in exacting detail in advance everything that the characters will do and say in the course of a story or chapter.

    INTERVIEW: Chris Roberson

  • And yet, while we were discussing the supposed I.E.D. attack, Randall appeared to recall it in exacting detail? the smells, the sounds, the impact of the explosion.

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  • Measuring 6 inches (7” with base), this mini-statue captures the charm and sultriness of this real-life heroine in exacting, minute detail.

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  • When he came out of the Hammam, he donned a rich robe, purfled with gold and embroidered with jewels and jacinths; and, setting the royal crown on his head, sat down on his throne of kingship and ordered the affairs of the folk, doing equal justice between strong and weak, and exacting from the prince the dues of the pauper; wherefore the people loved him with exceeding love.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Patricia Lysaght observes that ritual cursing was often a means employed by women in exacting revenge against enemies and authorities who had caused them harm.

    Gutenber-e Help Page

  • No. One would have thought that after the 2000 escapade that we would have been a bit more active in exacting changes that made voting better and fairer.

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  • As the story opens, we know that Reivich has succeeded in exacting revenge in some fashion because Mirabel is seeking revenge in return.

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  • I can see no difference to a taxpayer in exacting from him the full amount of taxes on parity with other taxpayers and then bonusing him with government funds for economic or social purposes, or on the other hand reducing his taxes by the amount of the bonus.

    Tax Reform

  • Then followed demands for punishment, in exacting which it was necessary to be pertinacious, if only to save her Majesty's Mission from dying of thirst.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

  • He was described as an exacting and sometimes fearsome leader, ordering up and rejecting multiple versions of new products until the final version was just right.

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