Word of the Day

Friday, November 09, 2001

acuity

\uh-KYOO-uh-tee\ , noun;
1.
Acuteness of perception or vision; sharpness.
Quotes:
They fail to understand how a person can hold beliefs so contrary to theirs and still retain any mental acuity.
-- Charles Krauthammer, ". . . Why Bush Will Win", Washington Post, November 3, 2000
With unusual acuity, one of the wire service reporters pounced on that possibility with an insinuating question.
-- Alfred Alcorn, Murder in the Museum of Man
Monkeys, diurnal animals that have a high visual acuity -- necessary for finding food and for moving through the trees without bumping into things or missing one's hold on a branch -- have a large visual area of the neocortex.
-- Stephen Budiansky, If a Lion Could Talk
Horses tend to shy a lot because the construction of their eyes is optimized for a near 360-degree field of view, useful for spotting danger, but the price the horse pays for that is relatively poor acuity and some out-of-focus spots that can cause objects within the field of view to suddenly sail into sharp focus.
-- Stephen Budiansky, If a Lion Could Talk
Origin:
Acuity comes from Latin acutus, "sharpened, pointed, acute," past participle of acuere, "to sharpen."
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