acute


acute
acute 1 *sharp, keen
Analogous words: *incisive, trenchant, cutting: penetrating, piercing (see ENTER)
Antonyms: obtuse
Contrasted words: *dull, blunt: *stupid, slow, dull, crass, dense
2 Acute, critical, crucial.
Acute most commonly indicates intensification, sometimes rapid, of a situation demanding notice and showing signs of some definite resolution
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intimately associated with Indian affairs was the pressing question of defense . . . Pontiac’s rebellion made the issue acuteMorison & Commager

}
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when the food shortage became acute in New Haven, the junior class of Yale College was moved to Glastonbury— Amer. Guide Series: Conn.

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Critical may describe an approach to a crisis or turning point and may imply an imminent outcome or resolution
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the war has reached a new critical phase . . . we have moved into active and continuing battle— Roosevelt

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the critical lack of rubber in the last war was finally beaten by the development of synthetic rubber plants capable of turning out 1,000,000 tons a year— Colliers Yr. Bk.

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Crucial applies to an actual crisis situ
ation, often one viewed with fear, worry, or suspense, and implies a speedily ensuing decisive or definitive outcome
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a continuous evolution, punctuated by the sudden flaming or flowering of a crucial moment now and then— Lowes

}
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the next few months are crucial. What we do now will affect our American way of life for decades to come— Truman

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Analogous words: culminating, climactic (see corresponding nouns at SUMMIT): *dangerous, hazardous, precarious, perilous: menacing, threatening (see THREATEN): intensified, aggravated (see INTENSIFY)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Acute — A*cute , a. [L. acutus, p. p. of acuere to sharpen, fr. a root ak to be sharp. Cf. {Ague}, {Cute}, {Edge}.] 1. Sharp at the end; ending in a sharp point; pointed; opposed to {blunt} or {obtuse}; as, an acute angle; an acute leaf. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Acute — may refer to: * Acute angle * Acute accent * Acute (medicine) * Acute (phonetic) * Acute (programming language) * The Acute a band …   Wikipedia

  • acute — [ə kyo͞ot′] adj. [L acutus, pp. of acuere, sharpen: see ACUMEN] 1. having a sharp point 2. keen or quick of mind; shrewd 3. sensitive to impressions [acute hearing] 4. severe and sharp, as pain, jealousy, etc. 5. severe but of s …   English World dictionary

  • acute — UK US /əˈkjuːt/ adjective ► if a bad situation is acute, it causes severe problems or damage: »The problem is particularly acute for small businesses. »an acute conflict/crisis/need …   Financial and business terms

  • acute — acute; acute·ness; per·acute; sub·acute; …   English syllables

  • acute — [adj1] deeply perceptive astute, canny, clever, discerning, discriminating, incisive, ingenious, insightful, intense, intuitive, judicious, keen, observant, penetrating, perspicacious, piercing, quick witted, sensitive, sharp, smart, subtle;… …   New thesaurus

  • Acute — A*cute , v. t. To give an acute sound to; as, he acutes his rising inflection too much. [R.] Walker. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • acute — I adjective acer, acuminate, acutus, alert, apt, astute, aware, clear sighted, critical, crucial, cutting, discerning, fine, foreseeing, intense, intuitive, keen, keenly sensitive, knowledgeable, penetrating, perceptive, perspicacious, perspicax …   Law dictionary

  • acute — (adj.) late 14c., originally of fevers and diseases, coming and going quickly (opposed to a chronic), from L. acutus sharp, pointed, figuratively shrill, penetrating; intelligent, cunning, pp. of acuere sharpen (see ACUITY (Cf. acuity)). Meaning… …   Etymology dictionary

  • acute — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of something bad) critical; serious. 2) (of an illness) coming sharply to a crisis. Often contrasted with CHRONIC(Cf. ↑chronicity). 3) perceptive; shrewd. 4) (of a physical sense or faculty) highly developed. 5) (of an angle) less …   English terms dictionary


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