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Accurately vs. Exactly: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 24, 2024
Accurately refers to correctness in detail and precision, while exactly denotes being strictly precise or identical to something.

Key Differences

Accurately implies a high degree of correctness and precision in action, measurement, or statement. Exactly, however, focuses on strict conformity to a standard, fact, or detail without any deviation.
When something is done accurately, it means it adheres closely to a known standard or truth, often in a broader sense. In contrast, exactly refers to a precise match or replication of a specific condition or fact.
The term accurately is often used in contexts where there's room for some interpretation or approximation, but with a high degree of fidelity to the original. Exactly, on the other hand, leaves no room for approximation, implying a perfect match or agreement.
Accuracy is a measure of correctness and can encompass a range of outcomes that are close to the desired result. Exactness is absolute, denoting a singular outcome that perfectly aligns with a specific standard or expectation.
In practical applications, accurately might refer to a process or result that achieves a desired level of precision or correctness. Exactly, however, would be used when referring to an outcome that precisely matches an established reference or standard without any variance.

Comparison Chart


Conforming to truth or a standard with precision.
Perfect conformity without variation.

Usage Context

Measurement, performance, reporting.
Replication, comparison, confirmation.

Room for Variation

Allows for slight deviations within acceptable limits.
No allowance for deviation; exact match is required.

Relation to Standards

Adherence to standards with a degree of precision.
Strict and complete conformity to a specific standard.


Often used where precision is key but absolute match isn't necessary.
Used when an absolute, unvarying match is required.

Accurately and Exactly Definitions


With careful attention to detail and precision.
She accurately replicated the ancient recipe.


Used to emphasize the accuracy of a statement or description.
That's exactly what I meant.


In a manner that is true and free from error.
The scientist accurately predicted the outcome of the experiment.


Precisely, without any difference.
The twins looked exactly alike.


Correctly understanding or reporting something.
He accurately described the events of the day.


At the exact moment or in the exact place.
He arrived exactly at noon.


Performing or executing with precision.
The musician played the complex piece accurately.


Corresponding in every detail.
The replica matched the original painting exactly.


Reflecting or representing something in a way that is correct.
The map accurately showed the terrain of the area.


In a manner that is accurate and completely correct.
She followed the instructions exactly.


Conforming exactly to fact; errorless.


In an exact manner; accurately.


Deviating only slightly or within acceptable limits from a standard.


In all respects; just
Do exactly as you please.


Capable of providing a correct reading or measurement
An accurate scale.


As you say. Used to indicate agreement.


Acting or performing with care and precision; meticulous
An accurate proofreader.


(manner) Without approximation; precisely.
Measure exactly so we can be sure it is right.
The edge is not exactly straight.
He divided the coins exactly in half.


In an accurate manner; exactly; precisely; without error or defect.


(focus) Precisely, used to provide emphasis.
He did it that way exactly to prove the point.


In an accurate manner; exactly; precisely; without error or defect.


Signifies agreement or recognition.
So you're saying that we have only three days left? — Yes, exactly!


With few mistakes;
He works very accurately


In an exact manner; precisely according to a rule, standard, or fact; accurately; strictly; correctly; nicely.
His enemies were pleased, for he had acted exactly as their interests required.


Strictly correctly;
Repeated the order accurately


Indicating exactness or preciseness;
He was doing precisely (or exactly) what she had told him to do
It was just as he said--the jewel was gone
It has just enough salt


Just as it should be;
`Precisely, my lord,' he said


In a precise manner;
She always expressed herself precisely


Is accurately used in measurements?

Yes, accurately is often used in precise measurements.

Is accurately about being exact?

Accurately is about precision, but allows for minor deviations.

What does accurately mean?

Accurately means with precision and correctness.

Does accurately imply truthfulness?

Yes, accurately suggests correctness and truthfulness.

What does exactly imply?

Exactly implies strict conformity without deviation.

Does accurately imply skill?

Yes, accurately often implies skill and attention to detail.

Can exactly refer to time?

Yes, exactly can refer to a precise point in time.

Can exactly be used in agreements?

Yes, exactly is used to confirm precise agreements.

Can exactly mean precisely the same?

Yes, exactly often means precisely the same or identical.

Is accurately more flexible than exactly?

Yes, accurately is slightly more flexible.

Does exactly allow for interpretation?

No, exactly implies no room for interpretation.

Is exactly used for emphasis?

Yes, exactly can be used to emphasize precision.

Do accurately and exactly mean the same in math?

In math, they both imply precision, but exactly is stricter.

How do journalists use accurately?

Journalists use accurately to report facts correctly.

Can something be accurately described but not exactly?

Yes, it can be close to true without being an exact match.

Is exactly a term of agreement?

Yes, it can be used to express strong agreement.

Does accurately require expertise?

Often, accurately requires expertise or careful judgment.

Can exactly be replaced with 'precisely'?

Yes, exactly and precisely are often interchangeable.

Is accurately subjective?

It can be, depending on the context and standards used.

Can exactly express surprise?

Yes, exactly can express surprise or realization.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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