sharpness; acuteness; keenness: acuity of vision; acuity of mind.

Origin of acuity

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 formshy·per·a·cu·i·ty, nounnon·a·cu·i·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acuity

Contemporary Examples of acuity

Historical Examples of acuity

  • 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.


    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.

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 for acuity

C15: from Old French, from Latin acūtus acute
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

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

Medicine definitions for acuity




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.