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ACU'TE, a. [L. acutus, sharp-pointed; Heb.]
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 edge Date: 14th century
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.
Acute A*cute", v. t. To give an acute sound to; as, he acutes his rising inflection too much. [R.] --Walker.
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
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