- sharp or severe in effect; intense: acute sorrow; an acute pain.
- extremely great or serious; crucial; critical: an acute shortage of oil.
- (of disease) brief and severe (opposed to chronic).
- sharp or penetrating in intellect, insight, or perception: an acute observer.
- extremely sensitive even to slight details or impressions: acute eyesight.
- sharp at the end; ending in a point.
- (of an angle) less than 90°.
- (of a triangle) containing only acute angles.
- consisting of, indicated by, or bearing the mark ´, placed over vowel symbols in some languages to show that the vowels or the syllables they are in are pronounced in a certain way, as in French that the quality of an e so marked is close; in Hungarian that the vowel is long; in Spanish that the marked syllable bears the word accent; in Ibo that it is pronounced with high tones; or in classical Greek, where the mark originated, that the syllable bears the word accent and is pronounced, according to the ancient grammarians, with raised pitch (opposed to grave): the acute accent; an acute e.
- the acute accent.
Origin of acute
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- penetrating in perception or insight
- sensitive to details; keen
- of extreme importance; crucial
- sharp or severe; intenseacute pain; an acute drought
- having a sharp end or point
- (of an angle) less than 90°
- (of a triangle) having all its interior angles less than 90°
- (of a disease)
- arising suddenly and manifesting intense severity
- of relatively short durationCompare chronic (def. 2)
- (of a vowel or syllable in some languages with a pitch accent, such as ancient Greek) spoken or sung on a higher musical pitch relative to neighbouring syllables or vowels
- of or relating to an accent (´) placed over vowels, denoting that the vowel is pronounced with higher musical pitch (as in ancient Greek), with a certain special quality (as in French), etcCompare (for senses 8a, 8b): grave, circumflex
- (of a hospital, hospital bed, or ward) intended to accommodate short-term patients with acute illnesses
- an acute accent
Word Origin and History for acutes
late 14c., originally of fevers and diseases, "coming and going quickly" (opposed to a chronic), from Latin acutus "sharp, pointed," figuratively "shrill, penetrating; intelligent, cunning," past participle of acuere "sharpen" (see acuity). Meaning "sharp, irritating" is from early 15c. Meaning "intense" is from 1727. Related: Acutely; acuteness.
- Pointed at the end; sharp.
- Of or relating to a disease or a condition with a rapid onset and a short, severe course.
- Of or relating to a patient afflicted with such a disease.
- Reacting readily to stimuli or impressions, as hearing or eyesight; sensitive.
- Relating to an illness that has a rapid onset and follows a short but severe course. Compare chronic.
- Having an acute angle.