acute

Use the adjective acute for when you want to describe something as sharp or extremely serious.

The word acute is one word; it's not two words, nor does it have anything to do with something small, cuddly, and pretty! Acute really means "sharp" or "severe" or "intense" and modifies certain kinds of angles in geometry or describes a certain kind of illness of short duration. The English word apparently entered the language during the sixteenth century from the Latin root acutus, which means "sharp" or "pointed."

Definitions of acute
  1. adjective
    ending in a sharp point
    synonyms: acuate, needlelike, sharp
    pointed
    having a point
  2. adjective
    extremely sharp or intense
    acute pain”
    “felt acute annoyance”
    synonyms: intense
    sharp
    keenly and painfully felt; as if caused by a sharp edge or point
  3. adjective
    having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions
    “an acute observer of politics and politicians”
    synonyms: discriminating, incisive, keen, knifelike, penetrating, penetrative, piercing, sharp
    perceptive
    having the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment
  4. adjective
    of critical importance and consequence
    “an acute (or critical) lack of research funds”
    Synonyms:
    critical
    being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency
  5. adjective
    having or experiencing a rapid onset and short but severe course
    acute appendicitis”
    “the acute phase of the illness”
    acute patients”
    Synonyms:
    subacute
    less than acute; relating to a disease present in a person with no symptoms of it
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    Antonyms:
    chronic
    being long-lasting and recurrent or characterized by long suffering
    degenerative
    (of illness) marked by gradual deterioration of organs and cells along with loss of function
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  6. adjective
    of an angle; less than 90 degrees
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    Antonyms:
    obtuse
    of an angle; between 90 and 180 degrees
  7. noun
    a mark (') placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation
    synonyms: acute accent, ague
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    type of:
    accent, accent mark
    a diacritical mark used to indicate stress or placed above a vowel to indicate a special pronunciation
Word Family