Acute means sudden or severe. Acute symptoms appear, change, or worsen rapidly. It is the opposite of chronic.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Acute. www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acute. Accessed February 1, 2021.
Review Date 10/10/2020
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.