Difference Wiki

Exactly vs. Identical: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on November 13, 2023
Exactly means in an accurate or precise manner, while identical refers to being the same in every detail.

Key Differences

Exactly is used to emphasize precision or accuracy in quantity, manner, or detail, like hitting a target exactly. Identical means being the same in every way, like two identical twins who look exactly alike.
When used to confirm or agree, 'exactly' signifies total agreement with what has been said. Identical, however, is used to describe objects, people, or situations that are mirror images or duplicates of each other.
Exactly can also imply a precise point in time or a specific location, as in arriving exactly at noon. Identical is about similarity in appearance, function, or nature, with no differences whatsoever.
In mathematics or science, exactly refers to a precise measurement or calculation. Identical, in this context, means two or more items sharing the same properties or characteristics.
Exactly is often used for emphasis to underline the accuracy of a statement or action. Identical is about sameness and cannot be used to imply degrees of similarity.

Comparison Chart


Precise or accurate in detail
Being the same in every detail


Emphasizing precision or agreement
Describing complete sameness


Time, location, measurement
Appearance, function, nature


Confirming details or measurements
Comparing items or people


Precision, no more or less
Complete duplication, no differences

Exactly and Identical Definitions


At a precise moment.
The train arrived exactly at 3 PM.


Being mirror images of each other.
The twins are identical.


Precisely, with no deviation.
She followed the recipe exactly.


Sharing the same characteristics.
The products are identical in quality.


Used to express complete agreement.
That's exactly what I thought!


Exactly the same, alike in every way.
The two paintings were almost identical.


Indicating accuracy or correctness.
His prediction was exactly right.


Duplicate, without any difference.
She bought two identical dresses.


In a manner that is accurate and precise.
The pieces fit together exactly.


Exactly alike or equal.
The results of the tests were identical.


In an exact manner; accurately.


Being the same
Another orator who used the senator's identical words.


In all respects; just
Do exactly as you please.


Exactly equal and alike
Your car is identical to mine. Are the fingerprints at the crime scene identical with those of the accused?.


As you say. Used to indicate agreement.


(Biology) Of or relating to a twin or twins developed from the same fertilized ovum and having the same genetic makeup and closely similar appearance; monozygotic.


Is exactly about precision?

Yes, it's about being precise and accurate.

Can two things be identical?

Yes, if they are exactly the same in every detail.

Can people be identical?

Yes, like identical twins who look exactly alike.

Are identical objects always the same size?

Yes, identical objects share the same dimensions.

Can exactly refer to a specific time?

Yes, like arriving exactly at a specified hour.

What does exactly mean in a conversation?

It signifies total agreement or confirmation.

Does exactly mean the same as correctly?

Yes, in the context of accuracy and correctness.

Is exactly used in mathematics?

Yes, for precise measurements and calculations.

Are identical products made the same way?

Yes, they are produced to be exactly the same.

Can identical be used in science?

Yes, to describe elements or compounds with the same properties.

Can two routes be identical?

Yes, if they follow the exact same path.

Is identical used in legal contexts?

Yes, to describe documents or items that are exactly the same.

Does exactly mean the same as identically?

Not quite; exactly is about precision, while identically refers to being the same.

Can identical be used to describe feelings?

Not typically, as it refers to tangible sameness.

Does identical imply any variation?

No, identical means no differences whatsoever.

Is exactly a synonym for precisely?

Yes, they both emphasize accuracy.

Can exactly describe feelings?

It's more about factual accuracy than emotions.

Is exactly about detail?

Yes, it focuses on precise details.

Do identical twins have identical fingerprints?

No, even identical twins have unique fingerprints.

Does exactly refer to agreement in opinions?

Yes, it can signify concurrence with someone's viewpoint.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
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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