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a. Reacting readily to stimuli or impressions; sensitive: His hearing was unusually acute.
b. Keenly perceptive or discerning: an acute critic of music; a critic with acute judgment. See Synonyms at sharp.
2. Extremely sharp or severe; intense: acute pain; acute pleasure.
3. Of great importance or consequence; critical: an acute shortage of funds.
4. Medicine
a. Having a rapid onset and following a short but severe course: an acute disease.
b. Afflicted by a disease exhibiting a rapid onset followed by a short, severe course: acute patients.
5. High in pitch; shrill: an acute scream.
a. Narrowly pointed; sharp: an acute leaf.
b. Having an acute angle: an acute triangle.

[Latin acūtus, past participle of acuere, to sharpen, from acus, needle; see ak- in Indo-European roots.]

a·cute′ly adv.
a·cute′ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.acuteness - a sensitivity that is keen and highly developed; "dogs have a remarkable acuteness of smell"
sensitivity, sensitiveness, sensibility - (physiology) responsiveness to external stimuli; the faculty of sensation; "sensitivity to pain"
2.acuteness - a quick and penetrating intelligenceacuteness - a quick and penetrating intelligence; "he argued with great acuteness"; "I admired the keenness of his mind"
intelligence - the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
steel trap - an acute intelligence (an analogy based on the well-known sharpness of steel traps); "he's as sharp as a steel trap"; "a mind like a steel trap"
3.acuteness - the quality of having a sharp edge or pointacuteness - the quality of having a sharp edge or point
keenness, sharpness - thinness of edge or fineness of point
obtuseness - the quality of lacking a sharp edge or point
skarpskyggni, næmleiki


[əˈkjuːtnɪs] N
1. (= keenness) [of vision, hearing, observation, analysis] → agudeza f
2. (= shrewdness) → perspicacia f, agudeza f
3. (Med) → gravedad f


[əˈkjuːtnɪs] n [mind] → perspicacité f; [hearing, eyesight] → acuité f


(= intensity: of pleasure) → Intensität f
(= keenness) (of eyesight)Schärfe f; (of hearing, sense of smell)Feinheit f
(= shrewdness)Schärfe f; (of person)Scharfsinn m; (of child)Aufgewecktheit f


(əˈkjuːt) adjective
1. (of a disease etc) severe but not lasting very long. They think his illness is acute rather than chronic.
2. very great. There is an acute shortage of teachers.
3. quick-witted. As a businessman, he's very acute.
4. (of the senses) keen. acute hearing.
5. high, shrill s high sound.
acute angle
an angle of less than ninety degrees.
aˈcutely adverb
aˈcuteness noun
References in classic literature ?
While, in the pursuit of their daring plans of annoyance, the restless enterprise of the French even attempted the distant and difficult gorges of the Alleghany, it may easily be imagined that their proverbial acuteness would not overlook the natural advantages of the district we have just described.
But she said it with a hesitation that did not escape the acuteness of the child.
But to render this acuteness at all successful in the end, the wind and the sea must be the whaleman's allies; for of what present avail to the becalmed or windbound mariner is the skill that assures him he is exactly ninety-three leagues and a quarter from his port?
He was short and slender, lithe and catlike in his motions, and had a peering, mousing expression about his keen black eyes, with which every feature of his face seemed sharpened into sympathy; his thin, long nose, ran out as if it was eager to bore into the nature of things in general; his sleek, thin, black hair was stuck eagerly forward, and all his motions and evolutions expressed a dry, cautious acuteness.
Notwithstanding his special acuteness and ability, he is unable to take a fact out of its merely political relations, and behold it as it lies absolutely to be disposed of by the intellect--what, for instance, it behooves a man to do here in American today with regard to slavery--but ventures, or is driven, to make some such desperate answer to the following, while professing to speak absolutely, and as a private man--from which what new and singular of social duties might be inferred?
I rather believe you are giving me more credit for acuteness than I deserve.
His pleasure in music, though it amounted not to that ecstatic delight which alone could sympathize with her own, was estimable when contrasted against the horrible insensibility of the others; and she was reasonable enough to allow that a man of five and thirty might well have outlived all acuteness of feeling and every exquisite power of enjoyment.
Ex-act-ly--pre-cise-ly: with your usual acuteness, you have hit the nail straight on the head.
My dear Manette, it is the case of an old and a prolonged shock, of great acuteness and severity to the affections, the feelings, the--the--as you express it--the mind.
It is impossible to express with what acuteness I felt the convict's breathing, not only on the back of my head, but all along my spine.
You've been up to some trick, and you've been bribing him not to tell," said the Squire, with a sudden acuteness which startled Godfrey, who felt his heart beat violently at the nearness of his father's guess.
Her dignity as a married woman, and the reality of her grief, revolted against the shallow acuteness of the schoolgirl.