- Acute is defined as something that is very serious, severe or extreme.
An example of acute sorrow is the grief a person feels after his spouse dies.
- The definition of acute refers to an illness or injury that is severe but that usually won't last a long time.
An example of the word acute would be when you fall and hurt your wrist resulting in breakage or fracture. This would be considered acute wrist pain as it came on quickly, is severe and will likely subside relatively quickly.
acute definition by Webster's New World
- having a sharp point
- keen or quick of mind; shrewd
- sensitive to impressions: acute hearing
- severe and sharp, as pain, jealousy, etc.
- severe but of short duration; not chronic: said of some diseases
- very serious; critical; crucial: an acute shortage of workers
- shrill; high in pitch
- of less than 90 degrees: an acute angle
- intensive (sense )
Origin: Classical Latin acutus, past participle of acuere, sharpen: see acumen
acute definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Having a sharp point or tip.
- Keenly perceptive or discerning: “a raw, chilling and psychologically acute novel of human passions reduced to their deadliest essence” (Literary Guild Magazine). See Synonyms at sharp.
- Reacting readily to stimuli or impressions; sensitive: His hearing was unusually acute.
- Of great importance or consequence; crucial: an acute lack of research funds.
- Extremely sharp or severe; intense: acute pain; acute relief.
- Medicine a. Having a rapid onset and following a short but severe course: acute disease.b. Afflicted by a disease exhibiting a rapid onset followed by a short, severe course: acute patients.
- Music High in pitch; shrill.
- Geometry Having an acute angle: an acute triangle.
Origin: Latin acūtus, past participle of acuere, to sharpen, from acus, needle; see ak- in Indo-European roots.
- a·cuteˈly adverb
- a·cuteˈness noun
acute - Medical Definition
- 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.
acute - Science Definition
- 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.