UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/əˈkjuːt/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/əˈkyut/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(ə kyo̅o̅t)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
a•cute /əˈkyut/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. sharp or severe in effect;
    intense: acute pain.
  2. extremely great or serious;
    critical: an acute shortage of oil.
  3. (of disease) of sudden onset and severe(disting. from chronic ):acute bronchitis.
  4. very sharp in intellect, insight, or perception.
  5. extremely sensitive:acute hearing.
  6. Mathematics
    • (of an angle) less than 90°.
    • (of a triangle) containing only acute angles.
a•cute•ly, adv. 
a•cute•ness, n. [uncountable]See -acr-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
a•cute  (ə kyo̅o̅t),USA pronunciation adj. 
  1. sharp or severe in effect;
    intense:acute sorrow; an acute pain.
  2. extremely great or serious;
    critical:an acute shortage of oil.
  3. (of disease) brief and severe (opposed to chronic).
  4. sharp or penetrating in intellect, insight, or perception:an acute observer.
  5. extremely sensitive even to slight details or impressions:acute eyesight.
  6. sharp at the end;
    ending in a point.
  7. [Geom.]
    • (of an angle) less than 90°. See diag. under  angle. 
    • (of a triangle) containing only acute angles. See diag. under  triangle. 
  8. consisting of, indicated by, or bearing the mark ˊ, placed over vowel symbols in some languages to show that the vowels or the syllables they are in are pronounced 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 pronounced with high tones;
    or in classical Greek, where the mark originated, that the syllable bears the word accent and is pronounced, according to the ancient grammarians, with raised pitch (opposed to grave):the acute accent; an acute e.

  1. the acute accent.
a•cutely, adv. 
a•cuteness, n. 
  • Latin acūtus sharpened, past participle of acuere (acū-, verb, verbal stem, akin to acus needle, ācer sharp + -tus past participle suffix)
  • 1560–70
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged sudden, distressing, violent.
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged keen, astute, discerning, perceptive, intelligent, perspicacious;
      sharp-witted, clever, smart, bright, ingenious, brilliant;
      knowing, wise, sage, sagacious, sapient.
      Acute, penetrating, shrewd imply a keenness of understanding, perception, or insight.
      Acute suggests particularly a clearness of perception and a realization of related meanings:an acute intellect.Penetrating adds the idea of depth of perception and a realization of implications:a wise and penetrating judgment.Shrewd adds the idea of knowing how to apply practically (or to one's own advantage) what one perceives and understands:wary and shrewd.
    • 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged keen.
    • 1, See corresponding entry in Unabridged 4.
    • 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged dull.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
acute /əˈkjuːt/ adj
  1. penetrating in perception or insight
  2. sensitive to details; keen
  3. of extreme importance; crucial
  4. sharp or severe; intense
  5. having a sharp end or point
  6. (of an angle) less than 90°
  7. (of a disease) arising suddenly and manifesting intense severity
  8. of relatively short duration
  9. of or relating to an accent (´) placed over vowels, denoting that the vowel is pronounced with higher musical pitch (as in ancient Greek), with a certain special quality (as in French), etc
  10. (of a hospital, hospital bed, or ward) intended to accommodate short-term patients with acute illnesses
  1. an acute accent
Etymology: 14th Century: from Latin acūtus, past participle of acuere to sharpen, from acus needle

aˈcutely adv aˈcuteness n
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