• WordNet 3.6
    • adj acute having or experiencing a rapid onset and short but severe course "acute appendicitis","the acute phase of the illness","acute patients"
    • adj acute of critical importance and consequence "an acute (or critical) lack of research funds"
    • adj acute extremely sharp or intense "acute pain","felt acute annoyance","intense itching and burning"
    • adj acute 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"
    • adj acute ending in a sharp point
    • adj acute of an angle; less than 90 degrees
    • n acute a mark (') placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Acute (Med) Attended with symptoms of some degree of severity, and coming speedily to a crisis; -- opposed to chronic; as, an acute disease.
    • Acute Having nice discernment; perceiving or using minute distinctions; penetrating; clever; shrewd; -- opposed to dull or stupid; as, an acute observer; acute remarks, or reasoning.
    • Acute Having nice or quick sensibility; susceptible to slight impressions; acting keenly on the senses; sharp; keen; intense; as, a man of acute eyesight, hearing, or feeling; acute pain or pleasure.
    • Acute High, or shrill, in respect to some other sound; -- opposed to grave or low; as, an acute tone or accent.
    • Acute Sharp at the end; ending in a sharp point; pointed; -- opposed to blunt or obtuse; as, an acute angle; an acute leaf.
    • v. t Acute To give an acute sound to; as, he acutes his rising inflection too much.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • acute Sharp at the end; ending in a sharp point or angle: opposed to blunt or obtuse. Specifically applied, in botany, to a leaf or other organ ending in a sharp angle;
    • acute Sharp or penetrating in intellect; possessing keenness of insight or perception; exercising nice discernment or discrimination: opposed to dull or stupid: as, “the acute and ingenious author,” Locke.
    • acute Manifesting intellectual keenness or penetration; marked or characterized by quickness of perception or nice discernment: applied to mental endowments and operations: as, acute faculties or arguments.
    • acute Having nice or quick sensibility; susceptible of slight impressions; having power to feel or perceive small or distant objects or effects: as, a man of acute eyesight, hearing, or feeling.
    • acute Keen; sharp; intense; poignant: said of pain, pleasure, etc.
    • acute High in pitch; shrill: said of sound: opposed to grave. See acute accent, below.
    • acute In pathology, attended with more or less violent symptoms and coming speedily to a crisis: applied to a disease: as, an acute pleurisy: distinguished from subacute and chronic.
    • acute A mark (′ ) used to denote accentual stress, and also for other purposes. To denote stress in English, it is now generally placed after the accented syllable, as in this dictionary, but sometimes over the vowel of that syllable. The latter is done regularly in such Greek words as take this accent, and in all Spanish words the accentuation of which varies from the standard rule. In some languages it is used only to determine the quality or length of vowel-sounds, as on e in French (as in été), and on all the vowels in Hungarian; and in Polish and other Slavic languages it is also placed over some of the consonants to mark variations of their sounds. For other uses, see accent, n.
    • acute Keen may be the most objective of these words. An acute answer is one that shows penetration into the subject; a keen answer unites with acuteness a certain amount of sarcasm, or antagonism to the person addressed; a shrewd answer is one that combines remarkable acuteness with wisdom as to what it is practically best to say.
    • acute Shrewd differs from acute and keen by having an element of practical sagacity or astuteness. Only keen has the idea of eagerness: as, he was keen in pursuit. See astute and sharp.
    • acute To render acute in tone.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Acute ak-ūt′ sharp-pointed: keen: opp. of dull: shrewd: shrill: critical
    • ***


  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “One of those men who reach such an acute limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savors of anti-climax.”
  • Edward Hoagland
    “Animals are stylized characters in a kind of old saga -- stylized because even the most acute of them have little leeway as they play out their parts.”
  • Arthur James Balfour
    Arthur James Balfour
    “Biography should be written by an acute enemy.”
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    “Only the most acute and active animals are capable of boredom. -- A theme for a great poet would be God's boredom on the seventh day of creation.”
  • Thomas Jefferson
    “I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise.”
  • William Lyon Phelps
    William Lyon Phelps
    “One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. acutus, p. p. of acuere, to sharpen, fr. a root ak, to be sharp. Cf. Ague Cute Edge
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. acutus, pa.p. of acuĕre, to sharpen, from root ak, sharp.


In literature:

He was a man of handsome appearance, with normal olfactory acuteness and sensibility to touch and pain.
"Criminal Man" by Gina Lombroso-Ferrero
His sense of proportion was far too acute to permit so grievous an error.
"The Law-Breakers" by Ridgwell Cullum
Although inactive and sometimes appearing dull the depressive individual is not apathetic but is suffering acutely.
"Benign Stupors" by August Hoch
He speaks well, with an attractive manner and a clear enunciation that not even acute nervousness can slur or disorganize.
"Westward with the Prince of Wales" by W. Douglas Newton
The look in Jim's eyes hardened to one of acute apprehension.
"The One-Way Trail" by Ridgwell Cullum
It appears to be acute exhaustion, following, possibly, a shock of some kind.
"Kildares of Storm" by Eleanor Mercein Kelly
For the first time in his life he acutely observed the difference between a plain woman and a pretty one.
"The Side Of The Angels" by Basil King
"Special Report on Diseases of Cattle" by U.S. Department of Agriculture
In time, the weight of any important decision gave him acute, unendurable agony of mind.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
I know that I criticized Mr. Siddons quite acutely, and disbelieved in him.
"The Passionate Friends" by Herbert George Wells

In poetry:

DUKE HUMPHY, as I understand,
Though mentally acuter,
His boots are only silver, and
His underclothing pewter.
"The Periwinkle Girl" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Water-crystals need for flower and root
Sixty clear degrees, no less, no more;
Snow, so fickle, still in this acute
Angle thinks, and learns no other lore:
"Snow" by John Davidson
And scanning the scene with a stern indecision,
He spread his dark wings, with intuitive cries,
And sped, till acute and inquisitive vision
Discerned but a movable speck in the skies.
"Suggested" by Alfred Castner King
But best of all are the words that shape the leaves –
Orbicular, cordate, cleft and reniform –
And their venation – palmate and parallel –
And tips – acute, truncate, auriculate.
"Learning the Trees" by Howard Nemerov
They both were young, and both had shewn
Affection into habit grown,
With feelings most acute;
Yet to a parent's duty just,
Tho' griev'd to part them, part he must,
The point bears no dispute.
"The Grateful Snake" by William Hayley
O dangerous woman! doubtful and seductive clime!
Must I adore likewise thy latter snow and rime,
And, drawn from love's implacable winter, shall I feel
The pleasures more acute than pointed glass and steel?
"Doubtful Skies" by Clark Ashton Smith

In news:

Such recreational drug use is associated with several medical complications, both acute and longlasting.
Recurrent pre-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the middle ear: A form of granulocytic sarcoma.
For more than two years, a federal ban on red snapper has been felt as acutely off Beaufort County's coasts as it has in its kitchens.
Central Florida Regional Hospital is an award-winning, 226-bed acute care facility that has been named as hospital by Solucient.
Checking for both renal insufficiency and diabetes can help predict which acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients will have cardiovascular complications and potentially die, according to this large prospective study.
Reclast Linked to Acute Renal Failure, Deaths in At-risk Patients.
Cocaine-induced rhabdomyolysis with secondary acute renal failure.
The use of noncontrast helical computed tomography (NCHCT) has become the imaging study of choice in evaluating patients with acute flank pain.
"The family sense of loss was very acute," says Tom Ripley, who returned to San Francisco with his wife and two children after three years in London.
Reported cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome rose sharply today in an interior province of northern China, heralding the possible spread of the disease through the country's vast, medically underserved hinterlands.
The newest new disease, SARS, for severe acute respiratory syndrome, is a case in point.
New clot removal technology provides tool to treat acute ischemic stroke.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of acute childhood gastroenteritis.
ACUTE rheumatic fever is a disease that most Americans have forgotten because it virtually disappeared from the United States a generation ago.
We report here acute rejection in two transplant patients due to a metabolic interaction of St John 's wort and ciclosporin.

In science:

Figure 3: T2 FLAIR showing hyperintense signal in the PCA and MCA distributions, consistent with acute ischemic stroke.
A Quantum Mechanical Review of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Figure (1) shows a T2 fast spin echo image of acute ischemic stroke in the posterior circulation.
A Quantum Mechanical Review of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
In this section, we review the MRI modalities used in the assessment of acute ischemic stroke.
A Quantum Mechanical Review of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Figure 4: ADC map showing hypointensity in the left periventricular MCA distributions, consistent with acute ischemic stroke.
A Quantum Mechanical Review of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
In acute ischemic stroke, cytotoxic cellular injury results in axonal edema and a subsequent decrease in Brownian motion.
A Quantum Mechanical Review of Magnetic Resonance Imaging