from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not strictly accurate or precise; not exact.
  • adjective Not rigorous or meticulous.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not exact; not precisely correct, accurate, or punctual.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not exact; not precisely correct or true; inaccurate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Imperfectly conforming; exceeding or falling short in some respect.
  • adjective Imprecisely or indefinitely conceived or stated
  • adjective physics, of a differential having a path-dependent integral

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

  • adjective not exact


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Legend of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon = = weren't hanging at all but an inexact translation of the Greek word '' kremastos '' or the Latin word '' pensilis '', which mean not just "hanging", but "overhanging" as in the case of a terrace or balcony were described by Greek historians including Berossus and Diodorus Siculus, who apparently never saw them.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en] 2009

  • The guessing game over the commandante's health and influence? diplomats in Havana admit ignorance over the hermetic regime's inner workings? recalled the inexact science of Kremlinology, which tracked Politburo dynamics during Red Square parades.

    Cuba left guessing on Revolution Day as Fidel Castro misses big parade 2010

  • As to being "inexact," as a notator, I am as aware as the dancers, if not more so at times, of what must happen physically, motivationally and emotionally so that the choreographer's intentions are preserved in a manuscript that will inform dancers for generations to come.

    It's the Dance That's Complex, Not the Notation System 2009

  • The opinion of Mr. Collins is to be discussed presently, but even he thought Shakespeare's scholarship "inexact," as we shall see.

    Shakespeare, Bacon, and the Great Unknown Andrew Lang 1878

  • They quote with a certain fatuity the eulogy of Montesquieu, who says it is the only book they have; "a proposition" which Navarrete considers "inexact," and we agree with Navarrete.

    Castilian Days John Hay 1870

  • Now, this phrase "inexact" must refer either to the _methods_ or to the

    Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews Thomas Henry Huxley 1860

  • Is it then the _results_ of Biological science which are "inexact"?

    Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews Thomas Henry Huxley 1860

  • Is it then the _results_ of Biological science which are "inexact"?

    Science & Education Thomas Henry Huxley 1860

  • Now, this phrase "inexact" must refer either to the _methods_ or to the _results_ of Physiological science.

    Science & Education Thomas Henry Huxley 1860

  • In 19th-century New Zealand, where female self-expression, like civilization, is postulated as still being on the brink of formation, Ada's muteness is set forth as a kind of inexact metaphor for the repression of women -- an oddity and an encumbrance, like her enormous hoopskirts, but still a fact of life.

    Chicago Reader 2010


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  • Curiously, a very precise word. It's more than simply "not exact" – but rather, "just off the mark, approximate": as in, "an inexact rhyme". It seems to underscore the unattained exactness almost as much as the missed effort.

    December 6, 2007

  • You're right, rolig. I never thought of it that way, but that's a very astute comment indeed. I have a new appreciation for this word (though I did rather like it before).

    December 8, 2007