A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [uh-kyoot]
    • /əˈkyut/
    • /əˈkjuːt/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [uh-kyoot]
    • /əˈkyut/

Definitions of acute word

  • adjective acute An acute accent is a symbol that is placed over vowels in some languages in order to indicate how that vowel is pronounced or over one letter in a word to indicate where it is stressed. You refer to a letter with this accent as, for example, e acute. For example, there is an acute accent over the letter 'e' in the French word 'café'. 4
  • adjective acute You can use acute to indicate that an undesirable situation or feeling is very severe or intense. 3
  • adjective acute An acute illness is one that becomes severe very quickly but does not last very long. Compare chronic. 3
  • adjective acute If a person's or animal's sight, hearing, or sense of smell is acute, it is sensitive and powerful. 3
  • graded adjective acute If you say that someone is acute or has an acute mind, you mean that they are quick to notice things and are able to understand them clearly. 3
  • adjective acute penetrating in perception or insight 3

Information block about the term

Origin of acute

First appearance:

before 1560
One of the 32% oldest English words
1560-70; < Latin acūtus sharpened, past participle of acuere (acū-, v. stem, akin to acus needle, ācer sharp + -tus past participle suffix)

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Acute


acute popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 93% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

acute usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for acute

adj acute

  • keen — finely sharpened, as an edge; so shaped as to cut or pierce substances readily: a keen razor.
  • subtle — thin, tenuous, or rarefied, as a fluid or an odor.
  • intense — existing or occurring in a high or extreme degree: intense heat.
  • sharp — having a thin cutting edge or a fine point; well-adapted for cutting or piercing: a sharp knife.
  • sensitive — endowed with sensation; having perception through the senses.

adjective acute

  • important — of much or great significance or consequence: an important event in world history.
  • perceptive — having or showing keenness of insight, understanding, or intuition: a perceptive analysis of the problems involved.
  • shrewd — astute or sharp in practical matters: a shrewd politician.
  • intelligent — having good understanding or a high mental capacity; quick to comprehend, as persons or animals: an intelligent student.
  • heightened — to increase the height of; make higher.

Antonyms for acute

adj acute

  • ignorant — lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
  • stupid — lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.
  • forthright — going straight to the point; frank; direct; outspoken: It's sometimes difficult to be forthright and not give offense.
  • honest — honorable in principles, intentions, and actions; upright and fair: an honest person.
  • unimportant — of much or great significance or consequence: an important event in world history.

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See also

Matching words

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