acute

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See also: acuté

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The corollas of the spotted poverty bush (Eremophila abietina) have acute lobes (sense 5)
An angle of 45 degrees is an acute angle (sense 6)
All the internal angles of an acute triangle (sense 7) measure less than 90 degrees

From Late Middle English acūte (of a disease or fever: starting suddenly and lasting for a short time; of a humour: irritating, sharp), from Latin acūta,[1] from acūtus (sharp, sharpened), perfect passive participle of acuō (to make pointed, sharpen, whet), from acus (needle, pin),[2] from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱ- (sharp). The word is cognate to ague (acute, intermittent fever).

As regards the noun, which is derived from the verb, compare Middle English acūte (severe but short-lived fever; of blood: corrosiveness, sharpness; musical note of high pitch).[3]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

acute (comparative acuter or more acute, superlative acutest or most acute)

  1. Brief, quick, short.
    Synonyms: fast, rapid
    Antonyms: leisurely, slow
    It was an acute event.
    • 2013 July-August, Philip J. Bushnell, “Solvents, Ethanol, Car Crashes & Tolerance: How Risky is Inhalation of Organic Solvents?”, in American Scientist[1], Research Triangle Park, N.C.: Sigma Xi, ISSN 0003-0996, OCLC 231015383, archived from the original on 19 June 2013:
      Surprisingly, this analysis revealed that acute exposure to solvent vapors at concentrations below those associated with long-term effects appears to increase the risk of a fatal automobile accident. Furthermore, this increase in risk is comparable to the risk of death from leukemia after long-term exposure to benzene, another solvent, which has the well-known property of causing this type of cancer.
  2. High or shrill.
    an acute accent or tone
  3. Sensitive.
    Synonyms: intense, keen, powerful, strong, sharp
    Antonyms: dull, obtuse, slow, witless
    She had an acute sense of honor.   Eagles have very acute vision.
    • 1813 January 27, [Jane Austen], chapter II, in Pride and Prejudice: A Novel. In Three Volumes, volume III, London: Printed [by George Sidney] for T[homas] Egerton, Military Library, Whitehall, OCLC 38659585, pages 37–38:
      Miss Darcy was tall, and on a larger scale than Elizabeth; and, though little more than sixteen, her figure was formed, and her appearance womanly and graceful. She was less handsome than her brother; but there was sense and good humour in her face, and her manners were perfectly unassuming and gentle. Elizabeth, who had expected to find in her as acute and unembarrassed an observer as ever Mr. Darcy had been, was much relieved by discerning such different feelings.
  4. Urgent.
    Synonyms: emergent, pressing, sudden, urgent
    His need for medical attention was acute.
    • 1851 October 18, Herman Melville, “The Chase—First Day”, in The Whale, 1st British edition, London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 14262177; Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, 14 November 1851, OCLC 57395299, page 601:
      [] Ahab rapidly ordered the ship's course to be slightly altered, and the sail to be shortened. The acute policy dictating these movements was sufficiently vindicated at daybreak, by the sight of a long sleek on the sea directly and lengthwise ahead, smooth as oil, and resembling in the pleated watery wrinkles bordering it, the polished metallic-like marks of some swift tide-rip, at the mouth of a deep, rapid stream.
  5. (botany) With the sides meeting directly to form an acute angle (at an apex or base).
    Synonym: obtuse
    • 2007 April 24, R[obert] J[ames] Chinnock, “Taxonomic Treatment of the Family Myoporaceae R. Br.”, in Eremophila and Allied Genera: A Monograph of the Plant Family Myoporaceae, Dural Delivery Centre, N.S.W.: Rosenberg Publishing, →ISBN, section XXV (Eremophila sec. Pulchrisepalae (12 spp.)), page 622:
      204. Eremophila abietina [] Corolla 23–35 mm long, cream or very pale lilac, lobes faintly metallic bluish green or lilac, tube occasionally brownish, prominently purple spotted; outer and inner surfaces glandular-pubescent; lobes acute, lobe of lower lip strongly reflexed.
  6. (geometry) Of an angle, less than 90 degrees.
    Antonym: obtuse
  7. (geometry) Of a triangle, having all three interior angles measuring less than 90 degrees.
    Synonym: acute-angled
    Antonyms: obtuse, obtuse-angled
  8. (medicine) 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.
  9. (medicine) Of a short-lived condition, in contrast to a chronic condition; this sense also does not imply severity.
    Antonym: chronic
    The acute symptoms resolved promptly.
    • 2013 May-June, Katie L. Burke, “In the News: Bat News”, in American Scientist[2], volume 101, number 3, Research Triangle Park, N.C.: Sigma Xi, ISSN 0003-0996, OCLC 231015383, archived from the original on 5 June 2017, page 193:
      Bats host many high-profile viruses that can infect humans, including severe acute respiratory syndrome and Ebola. A recent study explored the ecological variables that may contribute to bats’ propensity to harbor such zoonotic diseases by comparing them with another order of common reservoir hosts: rodents.
  10. (orthography) After a letter of the alphabet: having an acute accent.
    The last letter of ‘café’ is ‘e’ acute.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

acute (plural acutes)

  1. (medicine) A person who has the acute form of a disorder, such as schizophrenia.
  2. (orthography) An acute accent (´).
    The word ‘cafe’ often has an acute over the ‘e’.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

acute (third-person singular simple present acutes, present participle acuting, simple past and past participle acuted)

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

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ acūte, adj.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 2 June 2018.
  2. ^ acute” (US) / “acute” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ acūte, n.” in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 2 June 2018.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Asturian[edit]

Verb[edit]

acute

  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of acutar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of acutar

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

acute

  1. Inflected form of acuut.

French[edit]

Adjective[edit]

acute

  1. feminine of acut

Italian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

acute f pl

  1. Feminine plural of adjective acuto.

Anagrams[edit]


Latin[edit]

Participle[edit]

acūte

  1. vocative masculine singular of acūtus

References[edit]