Definition of not exactly in English:

not exactly

See synonyms for not exactly


  • 1Not at all.

    • ‘that was not exactly convincing’
    • ‘It is not exactly a new concept, but buyers have to be convinced that it is indeed gold.’
    • ‘I have quite a collection of it, and though it's not exactly an investment collection, I love it.’
    • ‘Being February, it's not exactly mobbed, but the weather is holding up quite well.’
    • ‘They are not exactly awe-inspiring, but no doubt they were quite expensive to set up.’
    • ‘This is not exactly a no-frills album and quite possibly a good place to start for the novice.’
    • ‘Despite the fact that they get nothing for them, married women's contributions are not exactly cheap.’
    • ‘It was all extremely glamorous, if not exactly a teenager's idea of fun.’
    • ‘No wonder we're not exactly all bouncing with energy and delight at the onset of our Irish winter.’
    • ‘Mysteriously, employers have not exactly been falling over themselves in the rush to endorse this call.’
    • ‘But he is not the only one to find his new hours are not exactly civilised.’
    • ‘Howard said it is not exactly how they imagined having their first child, but they are both very happy with the new arrival.’
    • ‘And unlike France two years ago, Dutch players are not exactly renowned for their unity.’
    • ‘I know he's said I should swing by the studio, but it's not exactly on the beaten path for me.’
    by no means, not by any means, not, not at all, in no way, certainly not
    View synonyms
  • 2Not quite but close to being.

    • ‘not exactly agitated, but disturbed’
    • ‘You're not exactly here and you're not quite there, you're somewhere else in limbo.’
    • ‘While it may not exactly be a war just yet, there is quite clearly rising tension between these two clubs.’
    • ‘Although not exactly a culinary crescendo, this turned out to be the high point of a meal that never really got out of first gear.’
    • ‘They are not exactly outside HR policy but we do not manage them directly.’
    • ‘She looked like some ancient thing, much less than a goddess, but not exactly human either.’
    • ‘But now an airline has introduced a service that, if not exactly door to door, is the next best thing.’
    • ‘There was a loose form of organisation to it all, though not exactly what you would call a well-oiled machine.’
    • ‘Now, he is from a home where money is not exactly flowing, but his mother tries.’
    • ‘I also know that for some things, I deserve, if not exactly an apology, at least an explanation.’
    • ‘The author does not exactly caricature her characters, but she paints them in without much subtlety.’