# Exact vs. Accurate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 8, 2023
"Exact" denotes precision without deviation, while "Accurate" signifies correctness or freedom from error.

## Key Differences

"Exact" and "Accurate" are terms that often describe precision, yet they highlight different nuances. When something is Exact, it strictly adheres to a specific detail or standard, allowing no room for deviation. It conveys a sense of being pinpointed, without any variation. Conversely, when something is "Accurate", it is correct in relation to a particular standard or truth, yet it might allow for minor discrepancies as long as they don't lead to an incorrect representation.
In the world of measurements, for instance, an Exact number might be "5.00 grams," denoting a specific value without any range. An Accurate measurement, however, means the measurement correctly reflects the actual value, even if it's "approximately 5 grams." Here, Exactness demands precision, while Accuracy demands correctness.
In language and information, being Exact might pertain to quoting someone verbatim, ensuring every word aligns perfectly with the original statement. Being Accurate, on the other hand, means the essence or information conveyed is correct, even if the wording isn't identical. An Exact quotation reproduces the words precisely, while an Accurate paraphrase retains the correct meaning without necessarily using the same words.
At their core, both terms revolve around precision, but their application varies. Exactness stresses strict adherence, while Accuracy underscores correctness. While every Exact statement can be seen as Accurate (because it's correct), not every Accurate statement needs to be Exact.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Precision without deviation
Correctness or freedom from error

### Focus

Correct representation

### Application

Specific value or verbatim
Approximate or paraphrased correctness

### Scope

Narrow, demanding precision

### Variation

Allows no variation
Might allow minor discrepancies

## Exact and Accurate Definitions

#### Exact

Demanding and not allowing exception or deviation.
He is Exact in his daily routines.

#### Accurate

Correct and free from errors.
Her summary was brief but Accurate.

#### Exact

Specified or set in its value or amount.
The Exact amount needed for the recipe is 2 cups of sugar.

#### Accurate

Conforming exactly to a standard or truth.
The watch is incredibly Accurate and rarely loses a second.

#### Exact

Precise and strictly adhering to detail.
The artist's reproduction was an Exact replica of the original painting.

#### Accurate

On target; hitting or reflecting the intended point.
The archer's shot was remarkably Accurate.

#### Exact

Reproducing details without variation.
His memory was so good, he gave an Exact account of the event.

#### Accurate

Conforming exactly to fact; errorless.

#### Exact

To demand and obtain by authority or force.
The authority Exacted a heavy fine from the violator.

#### Accurate

Deviating only slightly or within acceptable limits from a standard.

#### Exact

Strictly and completely in accord with fact; not deviating from truth or reality
An exact account.
An exact replica.

#### Accurate

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

#### Exact

Characterized by accurate measurements or inferences with small margins of error; not approximate
An exact figure.
An exact science.

#### Accurate

Acting or performing with care and precision; meticulous

#### Exact

Characterized by strict adherence to standards or rules
An exact speaker.

#### Accurate

Telling the truth or giving a true result; exact; not defective or faulty
An accurate calculator
An accurate measure
Accurate knowledge

#### Exact

To force the payment or yielding of; extort
Exact tribute from a conquered people.

#### Accurate

Deviating only slightly or within acceptable limits.
My horoscopes I read last week were surprisingly accurate.

#### Exact

To demand and obtain by force or authority
A harsh leader who exacts obedience.

#### Accurate

(obsolete) Precisely fixed; executed with care; careful.

#### Exact

To inflict (vengeance or punishment, for example).

#### Accurate

In exact or careful conformity to truth, or to some standard of requirement, the result of care or pains; free from failure, error, or defect; exact; as, an accurate calculator; an accurate measure; accurate expression, knowledge, etc.

#### Exact

Precisely agreeing with a standard, a fact, or the truth; perfectly conforming; neither exceeding nor falling short in any respect.
The clock keeps exact time.
He paid the exact debt.
An exact copy of a letter
Exact accounts

#### Accurate

Precisely fixed; executed with care; careful.
Those conceive the celestial bodies have more accurate influences upon these things below.

#### Exact

Habitually careful to agree with a standard, a rule, or a promise; accurate; methodical; punctual.
A man exact in observing an appointment
In my doings I was exact.

#### Accurate

Conforming exactly or almost exactly to fact or to a standard or performing with total accuracy;
An accurate reproduction
The accounting was accurate
Accurate measurements
An accurate scale

#### Exact

Precisely or definitely conceived or stated; strict.

#### Accurate

(of ideas, images, representations, expressions) characterized by perfect conformity to fact or truth ; strictly correct;
A precise image
A precise measurement

#### Exact

Such that the kernel of one homomorphism is the image of the preceding one.

#### Accurate

Representing faithfully without distortion.
The portrait is an Accurate depiction of the queen.

#### Exact

(ambitransitive) To demand and enforce the payment or performance of, sometimes in a forcible or imperious way.
To exact tribute, fees, or obedience from someone

#### Accurate

Careful and meticulous.
He is known for his Accurate attention to details.

#### Exact

(transitive) To make desirable or necessary.

#### Exact

(transitive) To inflict; to forcibly obtain or produce.
To exact revenge on someone

#### Exact

Exactly
She's wearing the exact same sweater as I am!

#### Exact

Precisely agreeing with a standard, a fact, or the truth; perfectly conforming; neither exceeding nor falling short in any respect; true; correct; precise; as, the clock keeps exact time; he paid the exact debt; an exact copy of a letter; exact accounts.
I took a great pains to make out the exact truth.

#### Exact

Habitually careful to agree with a standard, a rule, or a promise; accurate; methodical; punctual; as, a man exact in observing an appointment; in my doings I was exact.

#### Exact

Precisely or definitely conceived or stated; strict.
An exact command,Larded with many several sorts of reason.

#### Exact

To demand or require authoritatively or peremptorily, as a right; to enforce the payment of, or a yielding of; to compel to yield or to furnish; hence, to wrest, as a fee or reward when none is due; - followed by from or of before the one subjected to exaction; as, to exact tribute, fees, obedience, etc., from or of some one.
He said into them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
Years of servise pastFrom grateful souls exact reward at last
My designsExact me in another place.

#### Exact

To practice exaction.
The anemy shall not exact upon him.

#### Exact

Claim as due or just;
The bank demanded payment of the loan

#### Exact

Take as an undesirable consequence of some event or state of affairs;
The accident claimed three lives
The hard work took its toll on her

#### Exact

Marked by strict and particular and complete accordance with fact;
An exact mind
An exact copy
Hit the exact center of the target

#### Exact

(of ideas, images, representations, expressions) characterized by perfect conformity to fact or truth ; strictly correct;
A precise image
A precise measurement

## FAQs

#### Are Exact measurements always Accurate?

They should be, but if the standard itself is wrong, they can be Exact but not Accurate.

#### Can an Accurate statement have variations?

Yes, as long as it remains truthful to the essence or standard.

#### Is being Exact more restrictive than being Accurate?

Generally, yes. Exactness requires stricter adherence.

#### Can something be Exact but not Accurate?

It's rare, but possible if the Exact detail adhered to is itself incorrect.

#### Can a paraphrased statement be Accurate?

Yes, if it retains the original meaning without distortion.

#### Why might someone demand Exactness in work?

To ensure precision, consistency, and adherence to standards.

#### Does an Exact replica allow for any discrepancies?

No, an Exact replica would be identical in every detail.

#### In what fields is Accuracy vital?

Fields like medicine, science, engineering, and finance prioritize Accuracy.

#### Why is Accuracy important in research?

Accuracy ensures findings and data reflect the true situation or phenomenon.

#### How does one verify the Accuracy of information?

By cross-referencing with reliable sources or standards.