acute

acute
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 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 ˊ 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
>
acutely adverbacuteness noun 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 addition sharp.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Acute — may refer to: * Acute angle * Acute accent * Acute (medicine) * Acute (phonetic) * Acute (programming language) * The Acute a band …   Wikipedia

  • acute — [ə kyo͞ot′] adj. [L acutus, pp. of acuere, sharpen: see ACUMEN] 1. having a sharp point 2. keen or quick of mind; shrewd 3. sensitive to impressions [acute hearing] 4. severe and sharp, as pain, jealousy, etc. 5. severe but of s …   English World dictionary

  • acute — 1 *sharp, keen Analogous words: *incisive, trenchant, cutting: penetrating, piercing (see ENTER) Antonyms: obtuse Contrasted words: *dull, blunt: *stupid, slow, dull, crass, dense …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • acute — UK US /əˈkjuːt/ adjective ► if a bad situation is acute, it causes severe problems or damage: »The problem is particularly acute for small businesses. »an acute conflict/crisis/need …   Financial and business terms

  • acute — acute; acute·ness; per·acute; sub·acute; …   English syllables

  • acute — [adj1] deeply perceptive astute, canny, clever, discerning, discriminating, incisive, ingenious, insightful, intense, intuitive, judicious, keen, observant, penetrating, perspicacious, piercing, quick witted, sensitive, sharp, smart, subtle;… …   New thesaurus

  • Acute — A*cute , v. t. To give an acute sound to; as, he acutes his rising inflection too much. [R.] Walker. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • acute — I adjective acer, acuminate, acutus, alert, apt, astute, aware, clear sighted, critical, crucial, cutting, discerning, fine, foreseeing, intense, intuitive, keen, keenly sensitive, knowledgeable, penetrating, perceptive, perspicacious, perspicax …   Law dictionary

  • acute — (adj.) late 14c., originally of fevers and diseases, coming and going quickly (opposed to a chronic), from L. acutus sharp, pointed, figuratively shrill, penetrating; intelligent, cunning, pp. of acuere sharpen (see ACUITY (Cf. acuity)). Meaning… …   Etymology dictionary

  • acute — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of something bad) critical; serious. 2) (of an illness) coming sharply to a crisis. Often contrasted with CHRONIC(Cf. ↑chronicity). 3) perceptive; shrewd. 4) (of a physical sense or faculty) highly developed. 5) (of an angle) less …   English terms dictionary

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