acute: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (u-kyt'), [key]
— adj.
  1. sharp or severe in effect; intense: acute sorrow; an acute pain.
  2. extremely great or serious; crucial; 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.
    1. (of an angle) less than 90°. See diag. underangle.
    2. (of a triangle) containing only acute angles. See diag. undertriangle.
  7. consisting of, indicated by, or bearing the mark ´, 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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