Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

does (exactly) what it says on the tin

(Something) does precisely what it claims or is supposed to do. Primarily heard in UK, Ireland. This budget hostel isn't glamorous but does exactly what it says on the tin: it gives you a place to sleep at a very affordable price. This no-frills antivirus software is straightforward and does what it says on the tin.
See also: does, on, say, tin, what

not exactly

1 used when you are saying the opposite of what you really mean: He wasn’t exactly pleased to see us — in fact he refused to open the door.It’s not exactly beautiful, is it? (= it’s ugly)
2 used when you are correcting something that somebody has said: ‘So he told you you’d got the job?’ ‘Not exactly, but he said they were impressed with me.’
See also: exactly, not
References in classic literature ?
He addressed her with easy civility, and twisted his head into a bow which assured her as plainly as words could have done, that he was exactly the coxcomb she had heard him described to be by Lucy.
I cannot say that I remember it all exactly as you have described it; my wife declares flatly there is not a word of truth in it as far as she is concerned, and Mrs.
They have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or satellites, which revolve about Mars; whereof the innermost is distant from the centre of the primary planet exactly three of his diameters, and the outermost, five; the former revolves in the space of ten hours, and the latter in twenty-one and a half; so that the squares of their periodical times are very near in the same proportion with the cubes of their distance from the centre of Mars; which evidently shows them to be governed by the same law of gravitation that influences the other heavenly bodies.
Now,' she began, 'be sure you do exactly in every respect what I tell you.
He breakfasted and dined at the club, at hours mathematically fixed, in the same room, at the same table, never taking his meals with other members, much less bringing a guest with him; and went home at exactly midnight, only to retire at once to bed.
There is a feeling exactly like that one has upon a switchback--of a helpless headlong motion
It was exactly a scene, and exactly among people, where he had apparently least to do, and least temptation to go.
Mortimer looked at his watch--"in exactly one hour and a quarter.
I don't think Ellen cares for society; but nobody knows exactly what she does care for," May continued, as if she had been groping for something noncommittal.
I know you very well; you have so much animation, which is exactly what Miss Andrews wants, for I must confess there is something amazingly insipid about her.
I give it exactly as it came to me, in a letter which meant more to me than it can possibly mean to any other reader.
Let us also disclose the fact that, without knowing exactly why himself, he had sent to Edinburgh for a certain selection of heavy clothing, and his best hunting-gear and fire-arms.
Of course I'll go over to Paris if you think I can do any good, but you must tell me exactly what you want me to do.
I seemed to imagine you exactly as you are--I seemed to have seen you somewhere.
That is exactly the point," said Porthos, "in regard to which I flattered myself I had hit on a very ingenious device.