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[uh-kyoo-i-tee] /əˈkyu ɪ ti/
sharpness; acuteness; keenness:
acuity of vision; acuity of mind.
Origin of acuity
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English acuite < Old French < Medieval Latin, Late Latin acuitās, equivalent to Latin acu(ere) to sharpen or acū(tus) sharpened (see acute) + -itās -ity
Related forms
hyperacuity, noun
nonacuity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for acuity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The doctor must correct, as far as possible, the want of acuity noticed.

  • The acuity of hearing was no longer so pronounced and the sense of refreshment, although still present, was not intense.

    The Blue Germ Martin Swayne
  • The portraits of certain artists in this unique volume recite the history of the critic's acuity and clairvoyance.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • When they struck the water there was a hiss, which grew in volume and acuity as they skimmed the waves.

    Riviera Towns

    Herbert Adams Gibbons
  • Despite the breadth and acuity of his observations, Granger suggested remarkedly few changes.

  • Careful investigation of olfactory acuteness would reveal the existence of such menstrual heightening of its acuity.

  • One cannot imagine the degree of sharpness, of acuity, which may be obtained during sleep by these interior sensations.

    Dreams Henri Bergson
British Dictionary definitions for acuity


keenness or acuteness, esp in vision or thought
the capacity of the eye to see fine detail, measured by determining the finest detail that can just be detected
Word Origin
C15: from Old French, from Latin acūtusacute
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for acuity

early 15c., from Middle French acuité (16c.) or directly from Medieval Latin acuitatem (nominative acuitas) "sharpness," from Latin acuere "to sharpen," related to acus "needle," acuere "to sharpen," from PIE root *ak- "rise to a point, be sharp" (see acrid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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acuity in Medicine

acuity a·cu·i·ty (ə-kyōō'ĭ-tē)
Sharpness, clearness, and distinctness of perception or vision.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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