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 October 21, 2018.
Review Date 10/8/2018
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.