V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. very serious or severe; 2. highly perceptive, keen, and intelligent; 3. very powerful and sensitive (such as eyesight)

Synonyms: urgent, critical, dire, severe, keen, penetrating, perceptive, sensitive

Antonyms: obtuse, non-threatening, dull, blunt

Tips: Acute is derived from the Latin acer "sharp." Think, "come to a sharp point," either of urgency or of focus. In geometry, acute refers to an angle that is less than 90 degrees. The opposite of acute is obtuse, which means "dull" and is usually used to describe someone who is dimwitted, while acute can describe someone who is "sharp," "keen," or "perceptive" in intellect. See obtuse for additional analysis. In medicine, acute refers to pain or disease that is severe and short in duration.

Usage Examples:

John was taken to the hospital, where it was discovered that he was suffering from acute peritonitis. (severe)

Dogs have such an acute sense of hearing that they can sense their owner's approach long before the humans in the room notice any sound. (sensitive, perceptive)

The problem of malnutrition is acute in many areas of Burkina Faso. (severe, critical)

He had an acute grasp of the company's financial situation. (keen, perceptive)

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