acute

[uh-kyoot]
adjective
1.
sharp or severe in effect; intense: acute sorrow; an acute pain.
2.
extremely great or serious; crucial; critical: an acute shortage of oil.
3.
(of disease) brief and severe (opposed to chronic ).
4.
sharp or penetrating in intellect, insight, or perception: an acute observer.
5.
extremely sensitive even to slight details or impressions: acute eyesight.
6.
sharp at the end; ending in a point.
7.
Geometry.
a.
(of an angle) less than 90°. See diag. under angle.
b.
(of a triangle) containing only acute angles. See diag. under triangle.
8.
consisting of, indicated by, or bearing the mark ´, placed over vowel symbols in some languages to show that the vowels or the syllables they are in are pronounced in a certain way, as in French that the quality of an e so marked is close; in Hungarian that the vowel is long; in Spanish that the marked syllable bears the word accent; in Ibo that it is pronounced with high tones; or in classical Greek, where the mark originated, that the syllable bears the word accent and is pronounced, according to the ancient grammarians, with raised pitch (opposed to grave ): the acute accent; an acute e.
noun
9.
the acute accent.

Origin:
1560–70; < Latin acūtus sharpened, past participle of acuere (acū-, v. stem, akin to acus needle, ācer sharp + -tus past participle suffix)

acutely, adverb
acuteness, noun
hyperacute, adjective
hyperacutely, adverb
hyperacuteness, noun
nonacute, adjective
nonacutely, adverb
nonacuteness, noun
overacute, adjective
overacutely, adverb
overacuteness, noun
superacute, adjective
superacutely, adverb
superacuteness, noun

acute, chronic.


3. sudden, distressing, violent. 4. keen, astute, discerning, perceptive, intelligent, perspicacious; sharp-witted, clever, smart, bright, ingenious, brilliant; knowing, wise, sage, sagacious, sapient. Acute, penetrating, shrewd imply a keenness of understanding, perception, or insight. Acute suggests particularly a clearness of perception and a realization of related meanings: an acute intellect. Penetrating adds the idea of depth of perception and a realization of implications: a wise and penetrating judgment. Shrewd adds the idea of knowing how to apply practically (or to one's own advantage) what one perceives and understands: wary and shrewd. 5. keen.


1, 4, 5. dull.
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World English Dictionary
acute (əˈkjuːt)
 
adj
1.  penetrating in perception or insight
2.  sensitive to details; keen
3.  of extreme importance; crucial
4.  sharp or severe; intense: acute pain; an acute drought
5.  having a sharp end or point
6.  maths
 a.  (of an angle) less than 90°
 b.  (of a triangle) having all its interior angles less than 90°
7.  of a disease
 a.  arising suddenly and manifesting intense severity
 b.  Compare chronic of relatively short duration
8.  phonetics
 a.  (of a vowel or syllable in some languages with a pitch accent, such as ancient Greek) spoken or sung on a higher musical pitch relative to neighbouring syllables or vowels
 b.  grave, Compare (for senses 8a, 8b): circumflex of or relating to an accent (´) placed over vowels, denoting that the vowel is pronounced with higher musical pitch (as in ancient Greek), with a certain special quality (as in French), etc
9.  (of a hospital, hospital bed, or ward) intended to accommodate short-term patients with acute illnesses
 
n
10.  an acute accent
 
[C14: from Latin acūtus, past participle of acuere to sharpen, from acus needle]
 
a'cutely
 
adv
 
a'cuteness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

acute
1560s, from L. acutus "sharp, pointed," pp. of acuere "sharpen" (see acuity). Medical sense of "coming and going quickly" (of a fever or disease, as opposed to a chronic one) first recorded 1660s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

acute a·cute (ə-kyōōt')
adj.

  1. Pointed at the end; sharp.

  2. Of or relating to a disease or a condition with a rapid onset and a short, severe course.

  3. Of or relating to a patient afflicted with such a disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
acute   (ə-kyt')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Reacting readily to stimuli or impressions, as hearing or eyesight; sensitive.

  2. Relating to an illness that has a rapid onset and follows a short but severe course. Compare chronic.

  3. Having an acute angle.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
He suffered much from a morbid acuteness of the senses.
As the acuteness of this remorse began to die away, it was succeeded by a sense
  of joy.
Different people vary widely in the acuteness of their smell sense, as in the
  different odors to which they are sensitive.
Of these, it is the lyrics that stand out for their acuteness and ingenuity,
  while the music is more serviceable than memorable.
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