Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “acute”

See all translations

acute

adjective uk   /əˈkjuːt/ us  

acute adjective (EXTREME)

If a bad situation is acute, it causes severe problems or damage: She felt acute embarrassment/anxiety/concern at his behaviour. The problem of poverty is particularly acute in rural areas. An acute pain or illness is one that quickly becomes very severe: acute abdominal pains an acute attack of appendicitis

acute adjective (ACCURATE/CLEVER)

used to describe intelligence, senses, etc. that are very good, accurate, and able to notice very small differences: acute eyesight/hearing an acute sense of smell a woman of acute intelligence/judgment

acute adjective (ANGLE)

An acute angle is less than 90 degrees.
Compare
acuteness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  

acute

noun [C] uk   ( also acute accent) us  
a sign that is written above a letter in some languages, showing you how to pronounce the letter: There's an acute accent on the e in "café".
(Definition of acute from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of acute?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “acute” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hard luck story

a story or piece of information that someone tells you or writes about himself or herself, intended to make you feel feel sympathy for that person

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More