Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective acute contrast with its synonyms?

The words keen and sharp are common synonyms of acute. While all three words mean "having or showing alert competence and clear understanding," acute implies a power to penetrate and may suggest subtlety and sharpness of discrimination.

an acute sense of style

In what contexts can keen take the place of acute?

The synonyms keen and acute are sometimes interchangeable, but keen suggests quickness, enthusiasm, and a penetrating mind.

a keen observer of the political scene

When could sharp be used to replace acute?

While in some cases nearly identical to acute, sharp implies quick perception, clever resourcefulness, or sometimes questionable trickiness.

sharp enough to spot a confidence game

Thesaurus Entries Near acute

Cite this Entry

“Acute.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on acute

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