Pronunciation: (u-kyOOt'), [key]
1. sharp or severe in effect; intense: acute sorrow; an acute pain.
2. extremely great or serious; crucial; critical: an acute shortage of oil.
3. (of disease) brief and severe (opposed to chronic).
4. sharp or penetrating in intellect, insight, or perception: an acute observer.
5. extremely sensitive even to slight details or impressions: acute eyesight.
6. sharp at the end; ending in a point.
a. (of an angle) less than 90°. See diag. under angle.
b. (of a triangle) containing only acute angles. See diag. under triangle.
8. consisting of, indicated by, or bearing the mark ´, placed over vowel symbols in some languages to show that the vowels or the syllables they are in are pronounced in a certain way, as in French that the quality of an e so marked is close; in Hungarian that the vowel is long; in Spanish that the marked syllable bears the word accent; in Ibo that it is pronounced with high tones; or in classical Greek, where the mark originated, that the syllable bears the word accent and is pronounced, according to the ancient grammarians, with raised pitch (opposed to grave): the acute accent; an acute e.
the acute accent.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.