acute suggests severe intensification of a condition that is sharply approaching a climax an acute shortage of workers; critical is applied to a crisis or a turning point that will decisively determine an outcome the situation was critical; a critical point in the negotiations; crucial comes into contrast with critical where a trial determining a course of action rather than a decisive turning point is involved a crucial debate on foreign policy See also syn. study at sharp.
See acute in Webster's New World Roget's A-Z Thesaurus II
Having an end that tapers to a point:acicular, aciculate, aciculated, acuminate, cuspate, cuspated, cuspidate, cuspidated, mucronate, pointed, pointy, sharp. See sharp
Possessing or displaying perceptions of great accuracy and sensitivity:incisive, keen1, penetrating, perceptive, probing, sensitive, sharp, trenchant. See careful, sharp
So serious as to be at the point of crisis or necessary to resolve a crisis:climacteric, critical, crucial, desperate, dire. See safety
Marked by severity or intensity:gnawing, knifelike, lancinating, piercing, sharp, shooting, stabbing. See big
Elevated in pitch:high, high-pitched, piercing, piping, shrieky, shrill, shrilly, treble. See high, sounds
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