Meaning of ACUTE in English
a ‧ cute /əˈkjuːt/ BrE AmE adjective
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: past participle of acuere 'to sharpen' , from acus 'needle' ]
1 . PROBLEM an acute problem is very serious:
The housing shortage is more acute than first thought.
2 . FEELING an acute feeling is very strong:
3 . ILLNESS technical an acute illness or disease quickly becomes very serious OPP chronic :
4 . SENSES acute senses such as hearing, taste, touch etc are very good and sensitive:
Young children have a particularly acute sense of smell.
5 . INTELLIGENT quick to notice and understand things SYN sharp :
Simon’s vague manner concealed an acute mind.
an acute analysis of Middle Eastern politics
6 . MATHEMATICS technical an acute angle is less than 90° ⇨ obtuse
7 . PUNCTUATION an acute ↑ accent (=a mark used to show pronunciation) is a small mark written above a vowel. In ‘café’, the letter ‘e’ has an acute accent ⇨ grave , circumflex
—acuteness noun [uncountable]
• • •
■ very bad
▪ serious very bad – used about problems, accidents, illnesses, or crimes:
Violent crime is a serious problem in and around the capital.
The boy was taken to hospital with serious head injuries.
Fortunately, the damage to the car was not serious.
▪ severe very serious – used about problems, injuries, and illnesses:
He suffered severe injuries in a car crash.
The problem became so severe that they had to bring water in from other countries.
▪ grave used about a situation that is very serious and worrying, especially because it is dangerous or seems likely to get worse:
A thick fog descended and I knew that we were in grave danger.
The situation is grave – war now seems inevitable.
▪ acute used about an illness, problem, or situation that has become very serious or dangerous, and needs to be dealt with quickly:
She was taken to the hospital suffering from acute appendicitis.
In San Diego, the shortage of skilled workers is acute.
▪ desperate used about a situation or problem that is very serious or dangerous, especially because a lot of people need urgent help:
The situation is desperate – people here need aid before the harsh winter sets in.
The hospital is full of people in desperate need of medical attention.
▪ critical used about a situation that is very serious and dangerous and might get worse suddenly:
In 1991, the food supply situation became critical.
Eight people were killed and four are still in a critical condition.
▪ life-threatening used about a situation, illness, or condition in which someone could die:
Her child had a potentially life-threatening illness.
The situation was not life-threatening, but it was very worrying.
▪ be a matter of life and death spoken to be extremely serious – used when a situation is very urgent or important:
For people living with HIV, getting the right treatment is literally a matter of life and death.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012