Definition of acute
1a (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 patientb : lasting a short time acute experiments
2 : ending in a sharp point: such asa : being or forming an angle measuring less than 90 degrees an acute angleb : composed of acute angles an acute triangle
3a of an accent mark : having the form ´b : marked with an acute accentc : of the variety indicated by an acute accent
4a : marked by keen discernment or intellectual perception especially of subtle distinctions an acute thinkerb : responsive to slight impressions or stimuli acute hearing
5 : felt, perceived, or experienced intensely acute distress
6 : demanding urgent attention an acute emergency
Examples of acute in a Sentence
an acute sense of humor
It's a politically acute film that does not oversimplify the issues.
Recent Examples of acute from the Web
Moreover, despite the acute geopolitical challenges and the continuous Russian occupation, Georgia irreversibly follows its European and Euro-Atlantic integration path.
This latter point is a big concern given the acute challenges millions of families are facing.
Those tough decisions are certain to become more acute if the Senate health-care bill, which would reduce federal Medicaid spending, moves forward.
The tribute takes place one year ago to the day when Sager received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2016 ESPY Awards for his courageous and public battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
Gov. Dan Patrick and state Sen. Jane Nelson, the chamber’s chief budget writer, argued then costs for acute care services to Texas’ Medicaid program had risen 66 percent in the five years from 2009 to 2014.
Pain-pill limit: House Bill 333 prohibits medical professionals from giving patients with acute pain a prescription that lasts longer than three days at a time for a Schedule II drug like OxyContin.
An advanced clinical trial for another Seattle Genetics drug known as CD33A as a front line treatment for acute myeloid leukemia was halted this month after several patient deaths.
The law states only that the facilities must have such agreements with an acute care hospital and an ambulance service.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Ways to be acute
For such a short and simple-looking word, acute has a rather bewildering range of meanings. It first entered the English language with a medical sense, referring to the sharpness or severity of a symptom. It retains this meaning today, but can also refer to the severity of more general matters, such as "acute embarrassment" or "an acute shortage."
Acute is also frequently used to describe less troublesome matters, such as keenness of perception ("an acute observer" or "an acute sense of smell"), a type of angle (one measuring less than 90 degrees), or the demand for urgent attention ("acute danger").
Synonym Discussion of acute
synonyms see in addition sharp
ACUTE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of acute for English Language Learners
: 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
ACUTE Defined for Kids
Definition of acute for Students
1 : measuring less than 90 degrees acute angles
2 : marked by or showing an ability to understand things that are not obvious an acute observation
4 : developing quickly and lasting only a short time acute illness
6 : very strong and sensitive an acute sense of smell
Medical Definition of acute
1: sensing or perceiving accurately, clearly, effectively, or sensitively acute vision
2a: characterized by sharpness or severity of sudden onset acute pain brought on by injury an acute infectionb (1): having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course acute illness an acute inflammation—compare chronic 2a (2): acute care an acute hospitalc: lasting a short time acute experiments
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up acute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).