American Dictionary of the English Language

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1. Sharpness; but seldom used in this literal sense, as applied to material things.

2. Figuratively, the faculty of nice discernment or perception; applied to the senses, or the understanding. By an acuteness of feeling, we perceive small objects or slight impressions; by an acuteness of intellect, we discern nice distinctions.

3. Sharpness, or elevation of sound, in rhetoric or music.

4. Violence of a disease, which brings it speedily to a crisis.