Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: , past participle of exigere 'to drive out, demand, measure', from agere 'to drive'


2 verb
exact2 [transitive]
1 formal to demand and get something from someone by using threats, force etc
exact something from somebody
I exacted a promise from Ros that she wouldn't say a word.

exact revenge (on somebody)

if someone exacts revenge, they punish a person who has harmed them:
Leonard was determined to exact revenge on his wife's killer.

exact a high/heavy price

if something exacts a high or a heavy price, it has a very bad effect on a person or on a situation:
The years of conflict have exacted a heavy price.

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