adjective \ə-ˈkyüt\

: very serious or dangerous : requiring serious attention or action

: having or showing an ability to think clearly and to understand what is not obvious or simple about something

: very strong and sensitive : highly developed


Full Definition of ACUTE

a (1) :  characterized by sharpness or severity <acute pain> (2) :  having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course <acute disease> (3) :  being, providing, or requiring short-term medical care (as for serious illness or traumatic injury) <acute hospitals> <an acute patient>
b :  lasting a short time <acute experiments>
:  ending in a sharp point: as
a :  being or forming an angle measuring less than 90 degrees <an acute angle>
b :  composed of acute angles <an acute triangle>
a of an accent mark :  having the form ´
b :  marked with an acute accent
c :  of the variety indicated by an acute accent
a :  marked by keen discernment or intellectual perception especially of subtle distinctions <an acute thinker>
b :  responsive to slight impressions or stimuli <acute hearing>
:  felt, perceived, or experienced intensely <acute distress>
:  demanding urgent attention <an acute emergency>
acute·ly adverb
acute·ness noun

Examples of ACUTE

  1. an acute sense of humor
  2. It's a politically acute film that does not oversimplify the issues.

Origin of ACUTE

Middle English, from Latin acutus, past participle of acuere to sharpen, from acus needle; akin to Latin acer sharp — more at edge
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of ACUTE

acute, critical, crucial mean of uncertain outcome. acute stresses intensification of conditions leading to a culmination or breaking point <an acute housing shortage>. critical adds to acute implications of imminent change, of attendant suspense, and of decisiveness in the outcome <the war has entered a critical phase>. crucial suggests a dividing of the ways and often a test or trial involving the determination of a future course or direction <a crucial vote>.


adjective \ə-ˈkyüt\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ACUTE

: sensing or perceiving accurately, clearly, effectively, or sensitively <acute vision>
a : characterized by sharpness or severity <acute pain> <an acute infection> b (1) : having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course <an acute disease> <an acute inflammation>—compare chronic 2a (2) : acute care <an acute hospital> c : lasting a short time <acute experiments>
acute·ly adverb
acute·ness noun


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