AskDefine | Define acute

Dictionary Definition

acute 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: 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: 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, sharp, needlelike]
6 of critical importance and consequence; "an acute (or critical) lack of research funds" n : a mark (') placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation [syn: acute accent, ague]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From Latin acuere "to sharpen".

Pronunciation

Adjective

  1. Urgent.
    His need for medical attention was acute.
  2. Sensitive.
    She had an acute sense of honor.
    Eagles have very acute vision.
  3. Short, quick.
    It was an acute event.
  4. Of an angle, less than 90 degrees.
  5. Of a triangle, acute-angled.
  6. botany of leaves With the sides meeting directly to form a pointed acute angle at the apex, base, or both.
  7. Of an abnormal condition of recent or sudden onset, in contrast to delayed onset; this sense does not imply severity (unlike the common usage).
    He dropped dead of an acute illness.
  8. Of a short-lived condition, in contrast to a chronic condition; this sense also does not imply severity.
    The acute symptoms resolved promptly.
  9. In the context of "after a letter": Having an acute accent.
    The last letter of "café" is 'e' acute.

Derived terms

Translations

urgent
intense
of an angle
of a triangle See acute-angled
medicine: of a condition
accent See acute accent
letter

Noun

  1. An acute accent.
    The word "cafe" often has an acute over the "e".

Verb

  1. To give an acute sound to.
    He acutes his rising inflection too much.

Italian

Adjective

acute
  1. Feminine plural form of acuto

Extensive Definition

acute in Catalan: Agut (desambiguació)
acute in French: Aigu
acute in Finnish: Akuutti

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Machiavellian, Machiavellic, absorbing, acanthoid, acanthous, accurate, acicular, acrid, active, acuate, aculeate, aculeiform, acuminate, afflictive, aggravated, aggressive, agonizing, alert, animated, apperceptive, appercipient, arch, argute, artful, astute, atrocious, aware, barbed, biting, brisk, cagey, canny, clamorous, clever, climacteric, cogent, compelling, cornuted, crafty, cramping, creaky, critical, crucial, cruel, crying, cunning, cusped, cuspidate, cute, cutting, dangerous, deceitful, deep, deep-felt, deep-laid, deepgoing, designing, desperate, diplomatic, dire, discerning, discriminating, distressing, double-edged, drastic, dynamic, ear-piercing, edged, energetic, enterprising, enthusiastic, excessive, excruciating, exigent, exorbitant, exquisite, extravagant, extreme, farseeing, farsighted, featheredged, feline, fierce, fine, forceful, forcible, foreseeing, foresighted, forethoughted, forethoughtful, foxy, full of pep, furious, gnawing, go-go, grave, great, griping, guileful, hard, harrowing, harsh, hazardous, heartfelt, hearty, high, high-pressure, high-priority, hispid, homefelt, horned, horny, howling, hurtful, hurting, immoderate, imperative, imperious, impetuous, incisive, indelible, ingenious, insidious, insightful, insistent, instant, intelligent, intemperate, intense, intensified, inventive, keen, keen-edged, keening, kinetic, knifelike, knowing, lively, living, longheaded, longsighted, lusty, menacing, meticulous, mettlesome, mucronate, narrow, needle-pointed, needle-sharp, observant, outrageous, painful, paroxysmal, pawky, peaked, peaky, penetrating, peppy, perceptive, percipient, perilous, perspicacious, perspicuous, pervading, piercing, piping, pivotal, poignant, pointed, politic, precarious, precise, pressing, prickly, probing, profound, pronged, provident, pungent, quick-witted, racking, razor-edged, ready, reedy, resourceful, rigorous, robust, rough, sagacious, scheming, screaky, screeching, screechy, sensitive, serious, serpentine, set, severe, shall, sharp, sharp-pointed, sharp-sighted, sharp-witted, shifty, shooting, shrewd, shrieking, shrieky, shrill, slick, slippery, sly, smacking, smooth, snaky, snappy, sneaky, sophistical, spanking, spasmatic, spasmic, spasmodic, spiculate, spiked, spiky, spined, spinous, spiny, spirited, splitting, squeaking, squeaky, stabbing, stealthy, stinging, strategic, strenuous, strong, subtile, subtle, sudden, supple, tactical, take-charge, take-over, tapered, tapering, thin, threatening, tined, tinny, toothed, tormenting, torturous, tough, treble, trenchant, trickish, tricksy, tricky, two-edged, ululant, unbated, unconscionable, understanding, urgent, vehement, venomous, vibrant, vigorous, violent, virulent, vivacious, vivid, vulpine, wailing, wary, whining, whistling, wily, wise, zestful, zesty, zippy
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