[ uh-kyoot ]
/ əˈkyut /
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.
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Origin of acute
1560–70; < Latin acūtus sharpened, past participle of acuere (acū-, v. stem, akin to acus needle, ācer sharp + -tus past participle suffix)
SYNONYMS FOR acute
ANTONYMS FOR acute
1, 4, 5 dull.
a·cute·ly, adverba·cute·ness, nounhy·per·a·cute, adjectivehy·per·a·cute·ly, adverb
hy·per·a·cute·ness, nounnon·a·cute, adjectivenon·a·cute·ly, adverbnon·a·cute·ness, nouno·ver·a·cute, adjectiveo·ver·a·cute·ly, adverbo·ver·a·cute·ness, nounsu·per·a·cute, adjectivesu·per·a·cute·ly, adverbsu·per·a·cute·ness, noun
Can be confusedacute chronic
4. Acute, penetrating, shrewd imply a keenness of understanding, perception, or insight. Acute suggests particularly a clearness of perception and a realization of related meanings: an acute intellect. Penetrating adds the idea of depth of perception and a realization of implications: a wise and penetrating judgment. Shrewd adds the idea of knowing how to apply practically (or to one's own advantage) what one perceives and understands: wary and shrewd.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for acutes
/ (əˈkjuːt) /
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
Derived Formsacutely, adverbacuteness, noun
Word Origin for acute
C14: from Latin acūtus, past participle of acuere to sharpen, from acus needle
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
Medicine definitions for acutes
[ ə-kyōōt′ ]
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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for acutes
[ ə-kyōōt′ ]
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.