- 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 for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for acute
Exploitation of trafficking victims may be most acute in conflict and adjoining regions, but it is not confined to these areas.ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Growing Role of Human Trafficking in 21st Century Terrorism
Louise I. Shelley
December 26, 2014
The soil variations are acute enough that they can differ radically from one side of a road to another.Napa’s Earthquake Is Not The Only Thing Shaking The Vineyards
August 31, 2014
And my teenage daughters went into the town to shop at cute stores selling cute things at acute prices.Why I Hate The Beach
P. J. O’Rourke
July 27, 2014
My early years were a mix of acute loneliness and great freedom.An Author at Home in Lonely Landscapes
July 11, 2014
The authors collected data related to 54 different causes of death that could be attributed to alcohol, both chronic and acute.Excessive Drinking Kills 1 in 10 Americans
June 26, 2014
His sufferings were so acute that a minute examination of his injuries could not be made.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
With acute precipitancy he was separated from the currency that had come to him.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
She had been ill with acute rheumatism in all her limbs for the last thirteen months.My Double Life
For a moment an acute chill of horror rooted Pierre to the spot.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
At the bottom of the falls the river turns an acute angle and flows to the west.One Day's Courtship
- 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 acute
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.