sharp or severe in effect; intense:
acute sorrow; an acute pain.
extremely great or serious; crucial; critical:
an acute shortage of oil.
(of disease) brief and severe (opposed to ).
sharp or penetrating in intellect, insight, or perception:
an acute observer.
extremely sensitive even to slight details or impressions:
acute eyesight.
sharp at the end; ending in a point.

(of an angle) less than 90°.
(of a triangle) containing only acute angles.

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 pr-nounced 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 pr-nounced with high tones; or in cl-ssical greek, where the mark originated, that the syllable bears the word accent and is pr-nounced, according to the ancient grammarians, with raised pitch (opposed to ):
the acute accent; an acute e.
the acute accent.
contemporary examples

which may help explain why pbs appears to be suffering from acute corporate indigestion over the work.
did pbs bury an expose on torture? scott horton october 13, 2008

it is in the cities like lah-r-, karachi and islamabad that the danger is actually the most acute.
al qaeda’s deadly new nest bruce riedel march 4, 2011

rather, they suffer from paranoia and often have acute behavioral or personality disorders.
m-ss murderers, unlike serial killers, are hard to profile lizzie crocker july 20, 2012

the soil variations are acute enough that they can differ radically from one side of a road to another.
napa’s earthquake is not the only thing shaking the vineyards clive irving august 30, 2014

that problem is most acute in the high-profile finance t-tans, the investment banks that managed the facebook deal.
wall street, not facebook, bears most of the blame for the company’s ipo debacle zachary karabell may 23, 2012

historical examples

dr. b—— denies it, says they are nothing but acute dysentery.
a woman’s impression of the philippines mary h. (mary helen) fee

his sufferings were so acute that a minute examination of his injuries could not be made.
the grand old man richard b. cook

sharp and acute, the great expounder found out at once that mr. seward is one of the greatest and n-blest patriots of all times.
diary from november 12, 1862, to october 18, 1863 adam gurowski

with acute precipitancy he was separated from the currency that had come to him.
thoroughbreds w. a. fraser

the smarting pain he experienced was too acute, and each time his wife presented her lips, he pushed her back.
therese raquin emile zola

penetrating in perception or insight
sensitive to details; keen
of extreme importance; crucial
sharp or severe; intense: acute pain, an acute drought
having a sharp end or point

(of an angle) less than 90°
(of a triangle) having all its interior angles less than 90°

(of a disease)

arising suddenly and manifesting intense severity
of relatively short duration compare chronic (sense 2)


(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
of or relating to an accent (´) placed over vowels, denoting that the vowel is pr-nounced with higher musical pitch (as in ancient greek), with a certain special quality (as in french), etc compare (for senses 8a, 8b) grave, circ-mflex

(of a hospital, hospital bed, or ward) intended to accommodate short-term patients with acute illnesses
an acute accent

late 14c., originally of fevers and diseases, “coming and going quickly” (opposed to a chronic), from latin acutus “sharp, pointed,” figuratively “shrill, penetrating; intelligent, cunning,” past participle of acuere “sharpen” (see acuity). meaning “sharp, irritating” is from early 15c. meaning “intense” is from 1727. related: acutely; acuteness.

acute a·cute (ə-kyōōt’)

pointed at the end; sharp.

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

of or relating to a patient afflicted with such a disease.


reacting readily to stimuli or impressions, as hearing or eyesight; sensitive.

relating to an illness that has a rapid onset and follows a short but severe course. compare chronic.

having an acute angle.

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