ACU'TE, a. [L. acutus, sharp-pointed; Heb.] 1. Sharp at the end; ending in a sharp point; opposed to blunt or obtuse. An acute angle in geometry, is one which is less than a right angle, or which subtends less than ninety degrees. An acute angled triangle is one whose three angles are all acute, or less than ninety degrees each. 2. Figuratively, applied to mental powers; penetrating; having nice discernment; perceiving or using minute distinctions; opposed to dull or stupid; as an acute reasoner. 3. Applied to the senses; having nice or quick sensibility; susceptible of slight impressions; having power to feel or perceive small objects; as, a man of acute eyesight, hearing, or feeling. 4. An acute disease, is one which is attended with violent symptoms, and comes speedily to a crisis, as a pleurisy; opposed to chronic. 5. An acute disease, is one which is attended with violent symptoms, and comes speedily to a crisis, as a pleurisy; opposed to chronic. 6. In music, acute is applied to a tone which is sharp, or high; opposed to grave. 7. In botany, ending in an acute angle, as a leaf or perianth.
adj 1: having or experiencing a rapid onset and short but severe course; "acute appendicitis"; "the acute phase of the illness"; "acute patients" [ant: chronic] 2: extremely sharp or intense; "acute pain"; "felt acute annoyance"; "intense itching and burning" [syn: acute, intense] 3: having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions; "an acute observer of politics and politicians"; "incisive comments"; "icy knifelike reasoning"; "as sharp and incisive as the stroke of a fang"; "penetrating insight"; "frequent penetrative observations" [syn: acute, discriminating, incisive, keen, knifelike, penetrating, penetrative, piercing, sharp] 4: of an angle; less than 90 degrees [ant: obtuse] 5: ending in a sharp point [syn: acuate, acute, sharp, needlelike] 6: of critical importance and consequence; "an acute (or critical) lack of research funds" n 1: a mark (') placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation [syn: acute accent, acute, ague]
adjective (acuter; acutest) Etymology: Middle English, from Latin acutus, past participle of acuere to sharpen, from acus needle; akin to Latin acer sharp — more at edgeDate: 14th century 1.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> 2. 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> 3.a.of an accent mark having the form ? b. marked with an acute accent c. of the variety indicated by an acute accent 4.a. marked by keen discernment or intellectual perception especially of subtle distinctions ;penetrating<an acute thinker> b. responsive to slight impressions or stimuli <acute hearing> 5. felt, perceived, or experienced intensely <acute distress> 6. seriously demanding urgent attention <an acute emergency> • acutelyadverb • acutenessnoun Synonyms: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>. Synonym:see in additionsharp.
adj. & n. --adj. (acuter, acutest) 1 (of sensation or senses) keen, penetrating. 2 shrewd, perceptive (an acute critic). 3 (of a disease) coming sharply to a crisis; severe, not chronic. 4 (of a difficulty or controversy) critical, serious. 5 a (of an angle) less than 90°. b sharp, pointed. 6 (of a sound) high, shrill. --n. = acute accent. Phrases and idioms: acute accent a mark ( Usage: ) placed over letters in some languages to show quality, vowel length, pronunciation (e.g. maté), etc. acute rheumatism Med. = rheumatic fever. Derivatives: acutely adv. acuteness n. Etymology: L acutus past part. of acuere sharpen f. acus needle
Acute A*cute", a. [L. acutus, p. p. of acuere to sharpen, fr. a root ak to be sharp. Cf. Ague, Cute, Edge.] 1. Sharp at the end; ending in a sharp point; pointed; -- opposed to blunt or obtuse; as, an acute angle; an acute leaf. 2. Having nice discernment; perceiving or using minute distinctions; penetrating; clever; shrewd; -- opposed to dull or stupid; as, an acute observer; acute remarks, or reasoning. 3. Having nice or quick sensibility; susceptible to slight impressions; acting keenly on the senses; sharp; keen; intense; as, a man of acute eyesight, hearing, or feeling; acute pain or pleasure. 4. High, or shrill, in respect to some other sound; -- opposed to grave or low; as, an acute tone or accent. 5. (Med.) Attended with symptoms of some degree of severity, and coming speedily to a crisis; -- opposed to chronic; as, an acute disease. Acute angle (Geom.), an angle less than a right angle. Syn: Subtile; ingenious; sharp; keen; penetrating; sagacious; sharp-witted; shrewd; discerning; discriminating. See Subtile.
1. You can use acute to indicate that an undesirable situation or feeling is very severe or intense. The report has caused acute embarrassment to the government...The labour shortage is becoming acute.= severe ADJ 2. An acute illness is one that becomes severe very quickly but does not last very long. Compare chronic. (MEDICAL) ...a patient with acute rheumatoid arthritis.ADJ: ADJ n 3. If a person's or animal's sight, hearing, or sense of smell is acute, it is sensitive and powerful. In the dark my sense of hearing becomes so acute.= keen ADJ 4. An acute angle is less than 90°. Compare obtuse angle. ADJ 5. An acute accent is a symbol that is placed over vowels in some languages in order to indicate how that vowel is pronounced or over one letter in a word to indicate where it is stressed. You refer to a letter with this accent as, for example, e acute. For example, there is an acute accent over the letter 'e' in the French word 'café'. ADJ: ADJ n, n ADJ