Definition of acute in English:

acute

Line breaks: acute
Pronunciation: /əˈkjuːt
 
/

adjective

1(Of an unpleasant or unwelcome situation or phenomenon) present or experienced to a severe or intense degree: an acute housing shortage the problem is acute and getting worse
More example sentences
  • An acute shortage of experienced staff is undermining growth, says Wong.
  • One issue that all the various groups on East Riding of Yorkshire Council agree on is the acute shortage of affordable housing throughout the region.
  • There is an acute shortage of housing in Colchester and a great need for first time buyers to get on the ladder.
Synonyms
severe, critical, drastic, dire, dreadful, terrible, awful, grave, bad, serious, profound;
all-important, vital, dangerous, hazardous, perilous, precarious;
archaic parlous
rare egregious
1.1(Of a disease or its symptoms) severe but of short duration: acute appendicitis Often contrasted with chronic.
More example sentences
  • Symptoms of acute disease resolve by one to three months, although some persons have prolonged fatigue.
  • The most severe stages of acute asthma are respiratory failure, cardiopulmonary arrest, and death.
  • Bacterial infection can cause acute arthritis with inflammation, which constitutes an emergency.
Synonyms
stabbing, shooting, penetrating, piercing, sharp, keen, racking, searing, burning, consuming;
fierce, ferocious;
intense, severe, extreme, excruciating, agonizing, grievous, hellish, torturous, tormenting, unbearable, insufferable, unendurable, more than one can bear, more than flesh and blood can stand
literary exquisite
severe, intense, short-lasting;
Medicine peracute
informal short and sharp
1.2Denoting or designed for patients with an acute form of a disease: an acute ward acute patients
More example sentences
  • She was kept in the acute patients' ward under observation.
  • He highlighted that Waterford Regional is an acute hospital with patients often having an average stay of five or six days.
  • Fines will be imposed on councils when a patient remains in an acute hospital bed after they have been deemed fit to be discharged to their own home or to a care home.
2Having or showing a perceptive understanding or insight; shrewd: an acute awareness of changing fashions
More example sentences
  • Of all American presidents, Lincoln had the most acute religious insight.
  • Tom Hamilton has produced an acute and insightful response to my post on euthanasia, of a kind with which it is a pleasure to engage.
  • My students articulate an acute awareness, if not a full understanding, of academic labor issues.
Synonyms
2.1(Of a physical sense or faculty) highly developed; keen: an acute sense of smell
More example sentences
  • They have a keen sense of smell, acute hearing, but poor eyesight.
  • Its sight is marvellously keen, hearing exceedingly acute, and sense of smell wonderfully perfect.
  • They use night vision and an acute sense of hearing to find prey in the dark.
Synonyms
3(Of an angle) less than 90°.
More example sentences
  • It has a large posterior auricle that has a concave posterior margin meeting the hinge at an acute angle.
  • An Adam Heyslip corner from the right was met by the unmarked Darren Flanagan at the back post and from an acute angle, he tucked the ball to the corner of the net giving the keeper little chance.
  • As Pelonis describes it, many compression ceilings are set at an acute angle to the front wall and are typically very hard.
3.1Having a sharp end; pointed.
More example sentences
  • When you make the drill, do not make the cutting edges so sharp or too acute.
4(Of a sound) high; shrill.
More example sentences
  • This is an acute sound, which evokes desperate associations.

noun

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short for acute accent.
More example sentences
  • The word côte has no acute on the "e" at the end of the word while coté does.
  • My name is pronounced Colay and has an acute on the e.

Origin

late Middle English (describing a disease or its symptoms): from Latin acutus, past participle of acuere 'sharpen', from acus 'needle'.

Derivatives

acuteness

noun
More example sentences
  • The intelligence and analytical acuteness you bring to the site have been an inspiration to me.
  • These pursuits require mental acuteness, intellectual agility and detailed analysis.
  • The acuteness and expanse of his vision, his documentary power, and his grace and skill as an artist make his work devastatingly, frighteningly immediate.

Definition of acute in:

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